Did you hear the story
about the girl who loved too much?
So much she couldn’t have it.
She’d lived through famines
and learned to count rice-grains.
There was never enough cake
to eat it too (or eat for two?)—
so she’d take a bite.
Save the wrapper,
put it back on the shelf.
Wanted it to last forever.
She’d think about the taste all day
and force herself to stop.
She knew her ways too well.
If she gave into its call,
it would be all gone.

She’d imagine wild feasts spread
out in her dreams.
Her sleep betrayed her;
filled with chocolate swans,
endless Willy Wonka rivers
and pinwheel-eyed candy swirls—
a utopia of desire,
all confection and ambrosia
where every wish was fulfilled
and then she’d awaken,
and see the sunlight in her window
the open curtains and bare wood
and it would be all gone—

so she’d pull its rays
into butterscotch taffy
and suck the lemon drops
of her longing,
the hard and the sour
that made her mouth water
the sticky and sweet
all stuck in her teeth
and dripping on the bedsheets
She didn’t want to open her eyes
or let go of the hunger
gnawing inside her,
so she stayed in bed all day
hoarding her stash
and contemplating infinite possibilities:
elaborately constructed scenes
of consumption and fulfillment
all this Halloween candy,
all the costumes and disguises
but it was all too much to digest
and the prospect of satiety
overwhelmed her

so she was left
once again,
smoothing the empty wrappers
of her candy dreams,
arranging the remainders
in piles she counts and arranges
by color and taste
(and it isn’t a bad thing
to be such a perfectionist
when so much sweetness
is at stake)

© Psyche Marks 2017

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