Sweet Things

What he loved most of all
Were sweet things,
Blueberry jelly
Bursting from the doughnut
And dribbling down his chin,
Ice cream spotting his nose
As he licked the cone,
Chocolate icing
Shaved from a cake
In the middle of the night
And staining his thumb
An incriminating shade of brown.

A stolen kiss in the closet
Of his fourth-grade class
Tasted sweet as well
As did, much later,
The perfumed nipple
That he rolled in his mouth
Like a raspberry sucker
With a soft, creamy center.

When he became a father,
He prepared the children
Backwards Meals
Beginning with
A sumptuous desert
And made them promise
Not to tell their mother.

Growing older,
He reflected on his life
As if it were a series of flavors.
The best moments, he decided,
Tasted like Caribbean vanilla
With just a hint of nutmeg.
The best women were
Key lime pie,
Sweet but tart.

(originally published in Curio Poetry)




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