Treatise on the Saleability of Saccharine


I awaken and find myself, a jelly roll.

Literally, a jelly roll. Tucked betwixt my brothers and sisters of the soft and creamy dough, an unassuming snow of powdered sugar flutters down my flanks, whispering of the bright fruits that sparkle within, desperate to burst out and whisk someone’s mouth off to Never Land

Where the rain-forests drizzle oven-cinnamon sun

And the cherry-flowers roll in rivers, curling at the tips like a moustachio italiano à la ruby rose red just before he saves you from the tiger with a kiss.

As a jelly roll, I lounges all day on pastry paper beneath golden lights, dreaming of a million fairy tales swan-diving across my same sunrise recipe. I love to be a jelly roll.


The bell-trap on a string pulls and rings. A papa opens the door to the pâtisserie. His children jubilate inside like butterflies, lighter than steam off fresh-fired cookies, cool as the flow of a chocolate waterfall on a strawberry beach. Golden curls and blue eyes both, with a strange greenness embedded in them that lets me know, like me, that they have dreamed a far greater world around them than what would be expected of any person of their age and stature. “What does my little princess want?” Papa asks, swinging the girl in a hibiscus twirl around the tiled floor. She glances at me but, being a jelly roll, I cannot smile or give her a sign or scream the cherry bliss from my inside to out. So, turning back to face her Papa, she decides, “A peach danish.” Her brother nods, golden curls bouncing.

I crumble and freeze in upon myself – a jelly roll.

Who could stand to be such a dusty, irrelevant imitation of pastry’s shadow?

Squished to half-price betwixt my enemies and strangers, a silvery sugar sludge coughs off my back and onto pastry paper beneath. A gray slough confines me, a natural moat so no cake tester nor curious hand can venture near my hill of twisted tundra

Where the echoes of lone creatures tumble with the wind and bones

Where the silent tears of cherry red squelch into puddles, muddying

Under the bright lights of the pastry case while the sun is setting, cars are fading and dark nears inside.


The next morning, I awaken and find myself, a jelly roll.

I cannot strip the cherry bliss from the inner walls of my eternal intestine, so I will scream my own symphony of flavors, secret layers of deep red and dots of honeysuckle cream that will only be tasted by those few customers who choose to read my syrup scrawlings on the wall.

And before those allegiant to another flavor: all the same I proudly bear my recipe upon my breast. I proclaim myself a jelly roll – it fits my taste.


Image credits in order of appearance:

By Misiokk – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

By Gail – Flickr: bomboloni con marmellata, CC BY 2.0,

By Daniel Sone (Photographer) – This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health, with the ID 8339 (image) (next).This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.English | Français | +/−, Public Domain,



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