I fumble around my spice cabinet
for the vanilla I know I bought
instead, I find a box
of used dusty
the ones that are your favorite color.
I think about the milk chocolate ganache,
dripping from the peanut butter flavored cake
I made you
and the red candle I placed in the center
as I sang “happy birthday” to you—
out of tune
full of love
I wonder who sings to you now.
I throw your candles away
and keep searching
for the vanilla I know I bought.
Taryn Dixon is a graduate student at Southeastern Louisiana University and editorial assistant at Louisiana Literature Press.