I Can’t Make Cookies When I’m Dead | Chapter and Verse | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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I Can’t Make Cookies When I’m Dead

— for Kristin

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Everything is stainless steel,
preheating unnecessary.
Nothing sticks to anything.

But all saved souls must share
one big kitchen, color-coded,
alphabetized. Every 1/16 tsp

has a cubby. Such perfection
cannot be measured precisely,
beauty that makes me weep

because ugliness is love,
the ugliness of that pie
when you forgot to add

sweetened condensed milk,
that pie to keep comfortable
that splattered on the floor

in Jackson Pollock tantrum.
A last-second transfusion
of instant pudding saved us.

Nothing needs saving here.
Eternal peace dresses in white,
a smear-free apron just for show.

Gone are reminders of how we fail
before our chocolate can begin
to melt into living dreams.

- Daniel M. Shapiro


Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of the celebrity-centered poetry collection How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside, 2013) and several chapbooks, including Heavy Metal Fairy Tales (Throwback Books, forthcoming). He is a poetry editor with Pittsburgh Poetry Review and interviews poets for his website Little Myths. He lives in Squirrel Hill.


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