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Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

A Slice from the Cake Made of Air

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A slice from the cake made of air processes the physical and mental trauma of abortion coupled with the desires for sexual and emotional love against a backdrop of contemporary culture—with all the sexualization that comes with race, gender, and landscape. From front to back the book is wound through with a single poem whose language is permuted, translated, and retranslated (from English to English) as it cycles around abortion, both asking "what artifact / do I resemble" and stating "small love / small / you failed it / in person." The poems directly confront the sexual self ("This isn't a real orgasm, a real patellar fatigue") and take up the thesis abstract as a malleable form for interrogating the inevitable intersections and overlaps of brains and bodies. Sexy and volatile, a slice from the cake made of air winds over and through itself, with no conclusions or solutions for the mess of living in the world.