The Particular Sadness of Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve always wondered

about the particular sadness of lemon cake

and how it came to be

that someone would make a cake

sad enough to make them cry


but then I tried

to recreate the cinnamon rolls

you make so well


and as I watched the dough rise

gluten stretching, slowly

like a long inhale


I felt something swell inside me

and I realised

it was all the things I’d miss the most


the things I’d make a list of

except I couldn’t ever find room

for the words


and as I was rolling out the dough

my fingers sticky with cinnamon and butter

and my fingernails dusted with flour


I thought about you

and how the phrase

“long-distance relationship”

doesn’t quite cut it

because it doesn’t describe

the minutes I don’t have with you

or the things I won’t do with you

or the number of miles

between us

and what that feels like

to convert it to kilometres


so i put the cinnamon rolls in the oven

and was washing up

and brushing flour from my dress


(from your dress, actually

the one you gave me)


and I wondered

how many layers you need

for a lemon cake to be sad


perhaps we would add a layer

for each time we’ve had to say goodbye

when we didn’t want to



The cinnamon rolls tasted nice

but nothing like yours

and where I thought I’d find comfort

I found it just made me miss you more


except that I would do it a thousand times over

because every moment with you

is worth another layer