Pendulum Pastry by Jane-Rebecca Cannarella

Pendulum Pastry

I saw a woman outside the grocery store, Supremo on 43rd, with bowed hips, cocked in the way I really like – puffer jacket open exposing bits of feather stuffing – and a smooth navel soft with downy hair, rigged into sloping sextant hip points. She navigated her stance into an arch.

She unwrapped a pie, fragile body of the pastry in a flimsy tin, and proceeded to bend the disposable pan in half – dipped one hand into the pie and pulled out chunks with a bear fist. Fervor mouth filled with fruit.


I remember that boys in middle school had mouths that tasted like things. The boy with the cherry lifesaver cheeks, the one with milk breath – taking kisses from one another in the closet at the back of the classroom. Flipping quarters to see which boy kissed which girl.

Eighth grade was a fucking mess with all the cool boys carrying Binaca – they never played quarters to see who kissed who. The fly kids positioned themselves using time, genes, directions, and speed – dead reckoning – to ensure that their mint mouths fed off one another.

I hate aerosol mint and the boys that are now men who tasted like it.


The woman outside Supremo, time and space body slightly over the garbage near the electronic door, made a mess of the pie in what seemed like a second. Before I could even cross the street, the flakes were shaken into her jaw. Spiny fingers in the pan, fishing out the last bits of sweet fruit, dough, wet insides. Once the pie was devoured, pendulum pastry balanced in time – striking down with ferocious intensity – her hands crushed the pan, digits dyed red with berries looking like shrapnel over Christmas lights.

The woman spiked the exoskeleton tin into the trash. It thudded while she left – all one smooth movement – one second she was there the next she was a shadow against the horizon with hair pouring behind her like the whipping sail of a full-rigged-ship.

What inspired her hunger, the intensity and ruthlessness and wildness and savagery when faced with this dessert? I wonder what mouths when merciless taste like – are they the strawberry-shaped lips of sailing ship women with feather down bodies; or are they the bitter nip of kisses carried in cans?

When I got to the garbage can outside the electronic door, I looked at the shattered remains of the tin body – mouth agape in deathly moratorium. Crimson insides slick in the corners, only the gentle skin of the crust shed in snowflake sizes near the damp body remained.

The door slid open with my hovering, unfastening hinges to the dazzlingly bright insides of Supremo; a beacon, a compass – the table closest to the door covered in sweets.


Pendulum Pastry


Jane-Rebecca Cannarella is the editor of HOOT Review and Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit. She was a genre editor at Lunch Ticket, as well as a contributing writer at SSG music. In her spare time she is a candy enthusiast and cat fan. She received her BA and M.Ed from Arcadia University, her MFA from Antioch University, and attended Goldsmiths: University of London and Sarah Lawrence College. When not poorly playing the piano, she chronicles the many ways that she embarrasses herself at the website She occasionally drinks wine out of a mug that has a smug poodle on it; she believes that the poodle is the reincarnated spirit of the television show Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.


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