Whisking egg whites with two cold spoons with my daughter, in the kitchen,
the whites, most grotesque, most drawn-from-a body, much worse
than yolks. The recipe requires meringue stiffened
into peaks that startle, that most resemble breasts.
My girl’s bare feet beside mine on the black and white floor
while she scalds milk to thicken, slowly.
Do not let it form a skin, the recipe warns. What could live
inside milk skin? A scab, a patch of hair.
Also called Eggs in Snow. Also called Birds Milk.
I want to layer alcohol-soaked dessert biscuits secretly inside
but we are making a dessert to serve to daughters.
In the cookbook’s photo, the Floating Island is a place
where I could rest, undisturbed, on a bed of egg whites, cool and dreamy,
like a pool of thin stretchy cervical mucus, to test ovulation,
—I can’t have another baby, I explain—and then all the women I’ll never be
line up beside me, aproned, wedding-dressed, tattooed.
With immersion blenders, apple corers, electric frying pans.
Also called Île Flottante. In Serbia: En Senockle.
And under the milk skin is a baby, a baby I could pick up, hold,
swallow, my Thumbelina, my sweet homunculus,
who floats inside me like a piece of half chewed gum,
like a drifting torn nylon used to stuff a girls mouth shut.
The recipe warns, Place the result in a very hot oven or under a broiler and don’t take your eyes off it. Never, ever take your eyes off any of it.