"I'll be back," says the poet to the page,
as she caresses the sheet one more time with her Bic,
then slides on a pair of blue cotton slippers
before uncanning the words she's preserved,
candied and sticky,
in the cellar when it used to be summer.

She likes the vowels best,
pecking crystallized A's from salamander
before chewing up February whole.

Not the same as running barefoot
through cornfields, palms bending the stalks.
Later she would press juice from a pomegranite
with her tongue, skin taught
beneath the criss cross of straps
bright with lilac flowers, the sun
raising freckles along her shoulder blades.

The internal taste of aluminum
seems too close for comfort,
things said before, their leftovers
molding, are hard to repeat
now that the syrupy taste
seems like truth.