Say it began with an oven so hot
the racks inside glowed red. Say
the bowl was bright yellow, like
a day in Tuscany or the heart
of a chicken’s egg. That the
bed was a bowl of white
white flour sifted fine, but
salted with sweat and time.
That he tasted like vanilla,
a little expensive and dark,
too much forbidden. Say
the afternoon was a fall of
sugar from an unmeasured hand,
catching light, a curtain of
sweetness dropping. And the
whirl of clothes on the floor,
the spin of desire, and then the
heat like an oven turned too high,
glowing red against the skin. Say
I am longing for the icing to come.
Patti White is the author of three collections of poetry, Tackle Box (2002), Yellow Jackets (2007), and Chain Link Fence (2013), all from Anhinga Press. Her poems have appeared in journals including Iowa Review, River Styx, New Madrid, DIAGRAM, Forklift Ohio, North American Review, and Nimrod. She teaches creative writing at the University of Alabama.