Chapter 16
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“The Angel Makers and I Try to Bake a Cake”

Book Excerpt: Skin Splitting

The Angel Makers and I Try to Bake a Cake

“Rumours of the Wholesale ‘Removal’ of Unwanted Husbands Start the Authorities to Open Dozens of Graves in the Village Church Yard at Nagyrev, Hungary, With Startling Results” ~1929 headline of the Nagyrev village’s serial killer group

I’m not sure whose kitchen we’re in,
because all of the wives seem to belong here.
Counters are covered with flour and tonic bottles.
No one talks, yet they all move together
in unison, one setting down an empty cup
for another to fill with sugar, and yet another
picks it up to mix in to the milk and eggs.
Some arrive late and some leave during.
Some stare at me like they want to tell me
I don’t belong. When I try to get closer to
the bowl, the woman stirring throws out
a sharp arm. No, she says. This is no place for
a single woman. But you promised to show me,
I say, which makes her laugh. Instead, she offers
the spoon, daring me to lick off the batter.
All of the other women laugh, too, so I step back.
Good choice, she says, then tosses the spoon in
the trash, along with the bowl, and all of the batter.

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