You can’t eat your cake and have it, too, says my boyfriend
and Ted Kaczynski, turning cliches into bombs. My boyfriend
who is not the Unabomber loves me from 1,300 miles away.
We dream over the phone, count the days until our next visit.
At Whole Foods before Valentine’s Day, I buy a red velvet cake
I’ll eat alone. A man walks out with a double dozen red roses
wrapped in cellophane. I miss my boyfriend. Can I eat my cake
and have it, too? Transposed verbs are what got Kaczynski caught—
his use of language, his arcane mind, but he wasn’t wrong.
What good is having a cake if you can’t eat it? That clumsy
phrase comes straight out of Middle English, straight from
my valentine’s red mouth. He long-distance laughs as I puzzle
the meaning but isn’t that the point? Love is a kind of syntax,
a soft rhyme, prison time. I’m eating my cake and having it, too.