Categories
Poetry

Cake

Brown work gloves, the cheapest kind around: $2.99 for a pack of three.

Heat on full blast as we wind our way toward Old Well. Freshly cut firewood, splinters like tiny daggers in the bed of the truck. Your Arkansas Razorbacks sweatshirt, sweat seeping from your pores; hat on backwards, pack of chewing gum in your front pocket.

I try to remember the sound of your voice, like mine a little, but not quite: “My boy.”

I will watch you die — once, twice, one thousand times over in my mind.

Try to forget.
Why does that image always have to find a way to return? Why does that image always have to find a way to return?

Try to remember the good times only. The normal times. The time before.

October 19, my birthday.
Exactly one week later:
October 26, your birthday.
Exactly one week later:
November 2, Jennifer’s birthday.

Funny card.
Funny card.
Funny card.

Cake.
Cake.
Cake.

Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday.

Let’s eat some cake.

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, TheBody.com, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

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