The letters get away from me, making tiramisu.
I’m dipping the ladyfingers in the espresso and thinking if Grandmama would have liked the song at the Italian market–thinking of the word tiramisu, how much I like saying it and tasting it and waiting for the sponge cake to be cool enough–and then, instead of tiramisu, I have rats and stars and sims.
The espresso’s black as hell and the mascarpone’s fresh as sin. Can’t get sin out of tiramisu. Can’t really get saint either. Don’t have satire, which is a shame. Just sat, like I did in the hospital, or suit, like the funky thing the doctors made me wear in Grandmama’s room.
If I’m being honest, I’ve gotta wonder whether Grandmama even recognized me today or not, breathing over her in all that it’s-for-your-own-good astronaut gear. I’ve got to be honest when I’m making tiramisu and nipping off the rum. The letters all say things like art and smut and smart. I could get Tiamat, with an a and a t. Wouldn’t Babylon be jealous.
The rum sloshes over the mascarpone. That Italian song comes back, crooning, and I croon back to it, slurring over the parts I don’t know. I dump sugar into the bowl with the bleeding egg yolks. Mama never made a good tiramisu, Grandmama said, because she always let a piece of paper tell her how to do it.
T-i-r-a-m-i-s-u. Us pops out at me, but sister can’t choke its way free. I don’t need sister anyway; she never calls me and never calls Grandmama and wouldn’t come see Mama either before she went.
“I miss you.”
Eggshells drip. It’s quiet. Just me and the tiramisu, speechless.