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 eat.


I take the crusty bread and burn it

and go back to the stir the soup.

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