mum’s polka-dotted apron would be stained
brown and yellow; a child would peer
at the strange orange universe inside
a yolk and a crow would search for treasure
inside empty egg shells lounging in the sun.

there’d be flour on the floor, like powdery
snow, and the smell of daddy-brought chocolate
mixed with the richness of raisins and magic
berries and autumn nuts that the squirrels
had missed. vanilla icing was made of love.

sometimes there’d be cracks, tiny scars
from a hasty mixing, or a cruel oven,
artfully hidden by blood-red cherries or an excuse
or a candle that knew exactly where to cast
its light. love mistakes are always forgiven-

or at least that’s what you thought, before
you were unmade, with maturity and motherhood.
cakes, like souls are labours of love, but
but, you forget that ovens had another use too,
other than a place for sticking one’s head in.


Archita Mittra is a wordsmith and visual artist with a love for all things vintage and darkly fantastical. She occasionally practices as a tarot card reader.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.