Over coffee I say, spinning cream into liquid,
that I am three years from forty,
ten from fifty after that.
My friend laughs but she’s just 34.
What can she know?
Self-doubt rises slowly like dough,
baking into crusty edges begging loudly for oil–
But then I think of Julia, her life in France
and how they say she began to cook in earnest
at age 37 and I think,
Hey, I’m 37.
I can ruminate masticate appreciate
remake and throw away
I can taste my written words and hate them,
then add salt and pour them over everything
I take the crusty bread and burn it
and go back to the stir the soup.