The Better-Than-Sex Blueberry Cake
by Elsa Fernandez
A year ago in October,
wandering the streets of Orkney.
I was alone but not alone.
Life was changing.
Illness was walling off the past.
Facing the death of a partner,
I desperately wanted to break
the concentric circles that defined me
in the role of friend and companion.
I glanced in the window of a store,
crammed with knickknacks.
A tiny carved animal caught my eye—
a roughly carved elephant,
no more than two inches high,
painted in pastel watercolors.
I picked it up—and a fluttering
wave of happy hope
crept through my body.
Painted at the bottom of the
wood elephant were the words—
“You make my toes tingle.”
I imagined giving it to a future
lover or friend.
I have survived the changes that came my way,
meeting strangers who became friends,
one that surprised me
with a magnificent blueberry cake.
Plump purple-cobalt-blue marbles of juicy
goodness burst with every bite,
crowding a succulent pale yellow cake,
the milky warmth taste of vanilla rising
from its delicate softness,
snuggling under a faint sprinkling of powdered sugar.
My body shuddered and shifted
as I slowly ate a piece,
remembering past intimacy
and realizing with a conspicuous thump,
that I didn’t miss it.
This blueberry cake surpassed every
physical sensation in memory,
transforming a single morsel into
the biggest O that existed.
The little pachyderm taught me something.