From 2016: The Perfect Cake

From 2016: The Perfect Cake
Maryam Alatmane

225 grams
of flour
and butter
and sugar
4 eggs
And a teaspoon
of baking powder

I follow every single rule and regulation
Folding in the flour properly
Without leaving lumps
Making sure that there is no eggshell left
None of those hard, jagged edges
Just smooth
And nice
And perfect.

But my cake
Never seems to turn out like yours
It is always sunk
in the middle
Or not risen as high as yours is.

And sometimes
it takes longer than those 15 minutes
you give it to cook
Or I leave it too long
And I am left
With blackness
overtaking the sponge
And a foul stench
That reaches my nostrils
And makes the fire alarm scream.

Maybe
Maybe it does not need to be
Flawless
Maybe
Maybe you learn
From your mistakes
Maybe
Maybe the next time
It will be better

But
All the same

I follow the recipe for a
Perfect cake
Again and again and again
Praying
Hoping
Dreaming
That one day
Mine will turn out
Like yours.

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