Whitman Sampler--Bodies Electric by Norman S. Pollack
published in Volume 12, Issue 1 on November 12th, 2006Near the end of puberty, I liked
licking licorice in my room, at night
with the lights out.
It seemed like a black deed
to be kept as a dark secret.
The slim twisted stick would be pulverized.
My saliva would render the remainder, flat
until bitten off,
it would slide down my throat.
Candy kisses in silver wrappers,
the dangling paper
hanging out at the tip for easy opening,
often melted right inside my pocket
before I ever
got to offer them to Dolores S. or Judy B.
I fantasized about sharing a Mars Bar
or a Milky Way with Marcy E.
She probably would have bitten
off way more than she could chew
and be unable to swallow.
Later on, I knew that the girls
who slurped three quarter inch candy canes
were teasing me with each slide
in and out..
But I didn't know, what
I was supposed to feel.
In response, I'd slurp on a cherry lifesaver.
When the center was large enough,
I.d stick the tip of my tongue through
and wag it at them with childish glee,
having no idea, what
they were supposed to feel.
In 1955, on Valentine's Day,
I sent them all a Whitman Sampler,
but I never
got to see their bodies