Old Box #7: Fleeced by Repetition, The Love Song of Photo Op Prude Frock

You are my candy kitchen not my sweet and low religion, not my cold cut keeper. I kid you not. I’m here for the sundae, homemade in dairy heaven, not the silver scoop of confession. You are my candy kitchen, my feverish blister, conquistador of all confectionary kingdoms, the only conquest I remember. From your caramel kisses to the back of your neck where the dried sweat (like fried ice cream) lives, you are my candy kitchen. Red tide of Twizzlers, plastic electric licorice, a funnel cake sprinkled with powdery patchouli, you are my candy kitchen, my first taste of the flesh of my own tummy ache, jimmies sacrificed to the summer whipped surf. You are my candy kitchen, my Godiva diva reminiscence, honey bitten, your soft coat bakes no roadside boiled peanut.

You are my candy kitchen, the marshmallow of memory foam that tides my camera-pregnant eyelids, not a row of bunnies in an old box, not the showcase show-offs of jelly bean boutiques. Like the sadness of skinny cattle unable to come home to roost, your kinetic compost revives my chewy kennel. You are my two-cat cathedral not my flight to Canada. My bubblicious baptism, my wad of Weedon, my peninsula of steeples, my church of urchins. That’s why all the photos look jive-like timeless, the color I confuse with flavor every time you melt into sound. My cheesy Kentucky no laxative can kidnap. You are my candy kitchen, the Tau Cross hanging from the rearview (hotel) mirror in our large Thunderbird. You are my candy kitchen, my Jolt kick, my six-pack of wax drinks. Once a major strip, now nothing but neon taffy.

His Master’s Voice Creates A Silhouette / St. Petersburg, Florida / TSE / 2024

You are my candy kitchen but sometimes I need more than photos and more than song. Sometimes I break my own jaw just to prove that all language is gummy no matter the recognizable size of the bribe. Everyone on the beach, waffle and wafer, knows the dome is a rainbow, not a can of Goodbars, not a tanning hotspot that can be cancelled. You are my candy kitchen but I used to call you Penny when you were stationed at the Five and Dime. Sticky shutter fingers, light meter lips, tie dye tongue all the way home. My candy kitchen, no net. The phone-photographer who cut in front of me to get the photograph that I did not want now belongs to the photograph that everyone who worships celebrity will one day want. It’s difficult to decide how much to charge per goody goody gumdrop because sometimes a silhouette is just an imported, hard-to-see provocateur floating in dark chocolate. You are my candy kitchen, my “do-re-mi” not my “eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” my “row row row your boat” not my “fee fi fo fum.” Raised bridge of the belly havoc, causeway knight above wetness, human hayseed, you can blame the clouds for adorning yogurt periwigs but not the perfect mullet of cotton for refusing to be picked like a slow drift that storms north.

The Lunar Spectrum of Angle-Side-Angle / St. Petersburg, Florida / TSE / 2016

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