Poem #16 of 30


Say she talk slick
That girl always trying to talk slick
when folks around
Say she always got something slick to say
so she likes grease; must like grease
So she heats it.
Circles the size of needle tips dance
the floor of the pan.  Frozen french fries
turn wimpy sweating their fear
all over the yellow plastic bag
waiting for their chance that won’t come.
Always got something slippery
just on the edge of that tongue
and it’s always sliding out at the wrong time.
She grabs the handle of the pan
like the girl’s cries are an orchestra
to her humming.  The girl kicks tied ankles
at the door; a mermaid seeking water
before the door opens and she tastes grease.
Say something slick now
she grins, marveling at her work,
its mouth a dark chamber of sound
nothing slick.
The girl slips into cold and out of her skin.
Now that was slick.  Damn slick.
The French fries crackle in new old grease
ladled from a Maxwell House can.

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