When I First Meet My Paternal Grandaunt

When I First Meet My Paternal Grandaunt

When I First Meet My Paternal Grandaunt 1667 1084 Crystal Stone

as an adult, she tells me
my favorite family recipe

came from their childhood
maid,

shows me the picture,
excitedly. Here we are,

the four of us. Growing
up, dad told us

each peach carries
a flavor and texture

unclear from the skin’s color
alone. To know the truth

about the sweetness or sour,
we ate a slice of each open-faced

peach cake made in celebration
of his birthday. We called

the recipe mommom’s.
We were wrong

about what to name
what we ate. I have since

betrayed expectation, too.
The last time

I kissed a man I thought
about a woman whose breasts

were so close to my own
in bed, who I wanted to hold

but didn’t, my body pressed
against the wall instead

of her back. To be always
facing a wall. To be

always out of touch,
velvet wetting silent

tongues. I know now
everything is

an accumulation: kisses,
kids, cakes, pounds,

lies. Like them I’ve been
dishonest about who I am.

Header photograph © Madeline Mecca.

About the Author

Share This:
Close Cart
Back to top