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

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 ReviewRiver StyxNew MadridDIAGRAMForklift OhioNorth American Review, and Nimrod. She teaches creative writing at the University of Alabama.