You can find me here most every night, it’s true. Tell me your sweet
tooth doesn’t nag you in the night for a bite of something sweet.
I used to fight my desire, but I’d end up pleading with my man: Bring me some
C-A-N-D-Y. As if the kids couldn’t spell. My whole diet was something sweet.
Is it any wonder he took me to the Dairy Bar our first date?
Swirling seductive soft serve! What a night for something sweet—
like that warm evening way back when honey locust bloomed by the creek.
Our ancestors stopped in their tracks for scent and sight of something sweet.
Young love. Next thing you know, you’re desperate, feeding five little kids
sugar sandwiches. Give us this day our fortified white bread, anything sweet.
We thank God and the other side of the family that this land’s America today—
distracted Brits, protecting that Caribbean cane. Oh, to fight for something sweet!
Which reminds me, did you see Aunt Ethel with that heaping pecan pie, dollop
of whipped topping? She insists her diabetic comas occur to spite all that sweet.
And what of those white men whose tongues could not form Cullasaja,
calling our homeland Sugar Town? Weren’t they something sweet?
One old fellow called tobacco bewitching. What of the juju
of sugarcane, its slave trade, the might of something sweet?
Cousin, you know addiction’s inherited. In the fridge, French silk pie calls.
Don’t act like you don’t want some. Like it’s not fate to have one thin slice.
—Cullasaja is one form of a Cherokee word meaning “honey locust place.”
Kory Wells is author of Heaven Was the Moon, poetry from March Street Press. Winner of the 2016 HeartWood Broadside Series and a two-time finalist for the Rash Award for Poetry, she is a mentor with the low-residency program MTSU Write. In June 2017 she was selected the inaugural poet laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she also advocates for democracy, afternoon naps, and other good causes. Find her online at korywells.com.