Apple Pie with Anna Nicole
Mama used to say that the secret
for her famous apple pie was Golden Delicious apples.
That was Billy’s pet name for me too. Golden Delicious.
Shared little whispers over the cloudy bubbling
of the deep fryer at Jim’s Krispy Fried Chicken.
Love notes in the instant mashed potatoes and jalapeno poppers.
Soon I left Billy and Mama.
I packed up Danny and went out west to become a celebrity,
I crossed my heart and promised him
That every time something good would happen to us,
I’d bake us his favorite, apple pie–
one with Granny Smiths instead.
The first pie came when I got the job dancing at Gigi’s.
I teased my hair and put on a Marilyn beauty mark
Made of eyeliner right above my lip
Looking like a real movie star
And that day, Danny and I feasted on charred crust
And watery apples like we were kings.
I had to learn to make a good one fast though
because when Playboy wrote all about me, I baked.
And when I got engaged to J. Howard Marshall, I baked.
Even the night I got us our own show
I broke out the box of Bisquick and my house bunny oven mitts
Because I wasn’t Vickie Lynn Hogan no more. I was famous.
But soon apple pie wasn’t enough for Danny.
He would yell or go quiet, scream or ignore.
I tried blueberry, cherry and lemon meringue,
but he didn’t want any of that.
The doctors called it depression,
the press said I embarrassed him.
They said he hated having an illiterate
junkie with fake tits for a mom.
They say I do it for money when I tell them I do it for him.
And three days after his sister was born,
When I got that call.
I knew then, no dessert could fix what I did.
After These Messages
I am just as unsettled by Mr. Whipple squeezing the Charmin as I am by the California Claymation Raisins dancing all over the staged picnic blanket, Shamrock Shake also in the shot, only here for a limited time, as I play with my brand-new Roller Blading Barbie, accessories sold separately and batteries not included, eating a bowl of Trix stolen from the silly rabbit himself, now marketed without any artificial colors. It’s Christmas time so the polar bears are out teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony with a bottle of Coca-Cola and I want to be friends with the Pillsbury Doughboy who I can only assume sleeps in a roll of uncooked croissants as we watch the snowman who melts away into a little boy with the power of chicken noodle soup, and all I can think about are the monsters he has for parents that let their son freeze in the cold, turning himself into Jack Frost and all they give him is a bowl of canned soup that was probably on sale. We live in a post-Marlboro man society, we are zestfully clean wearing short shorts baring our legs and we adjust our lives following the bunny wearing sunglasses as he goes and goes, to where I don’t know and I don’t think we ever will as long as–oh wait, my show is back on.
The Devil Makes Ice Cream
He comes to work an hour early and recites sonnets aloud
while he pours rainbow sprinkles into a wide mouth container.
He laughs to himself and when I ask why,
he shrugs it off and tells me that he was just thinking about Ed Gein.
With one hand, he churns cold milk and cream
and in the other he holds the Communist Manifesto
referring to me as comrade
and asking if I’ve watched any good snuff films lately.
I ignore him and slice more strawberries,
juices splattering on the yellow cutting board.
He violates health code regulations by pricking himself with tattoos
of the Zodiac Killer’s insignia assuring me that he will one day
make his way to our small-town suburbia.
He assures me that I am part Native American, that he can see it in my eyes
and that I will be safe.
The Devil rarely gets mad unless he has to do the dishes.
He screams at the sudsy spoon and calls down damnation on all the utensils
that keep slipping out of his grip.
I think about the rack of knives above the sink and the distance
between the register and the front door.
I contemplate telling my manager that I don’t want to work with the Devil.
I know this is pointless. I am the only one willing to work with him
and her abysmal salary does not require her to deal with the Antichrist.
Plus, he will work for minimum wage.
Or for nothing, really, nothing at all.
Gabriela Maceira is an emerging writer and an MFA Creative Writing candidate at The New School in New York City. This is her first publication.