Beth Bayley

What is Pandan, You Ask
by Beth Bayley

Imagine if celery were a fruit: that’s close.
Pandan is kind of a vegetal vanilla
a plant with broad green leaves that somehow
becomes soft and pale green bread,
spongy green cakes, and gummy desserts.

The flavor is common as vanilla anyway,
appearing in the bread vending machines dotting the island,
selling half loaves of “American recipe” white
and pandan and milk flavor for toasting,
bought with gold dollar coins by aunties in pajama sets
to soak up the soft-boiled sunrise.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 2.

Beth BayleyBeth Bayley is a writer, yoga instructor, and occasional archivist who divides her time between Massachusetts and Singapore. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Evening Street Review, Ghost City Review, Slant, Vox Poetica, and Neologism Poetry Journal, among others. Find her at

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