the store brand:
O, Nutty Nuggets!
I choose you over Toaster Strudels.
Your box is always heavier than the others.
I feel you are an investment: I feel you
in my teeth: you hurt my molars–so small, so firm, so dense you dig
into the crevassey texture of old cavities, long filled
but very sensitive, thank you, so near the nerve.
Grape-Nuts! eating you
is actually absurd:
you taste like boys
their cornchippy body odor and:
unbrushed teeth like:
the old shoes of a boy
that I politely requested be left
in the next room over or
O, Nutty Nuggets! This poor hurtprideboy hurled back his own barb:
that I smell:
pungent and artificial.
Hurtprideboy! I have been practicing this smell for years.
I have been practicing this smell for you.
Hurtprideboy, it’s called deodorant, it’s called toothpaste
it’s called GoldBond, fucking look it up. It’s called your mom
telling you that you stink:
early and often.
Nutty Nuggets, for years, I repeated his words to myself:
in the shower: with my neon soap or
stepping into a cloud of scent:
named Princess or
spritzing goo into my hair
that smells like:
the sweet chemical fruitflowers of my youth
the idea of a naked girl
pungent and artificial
My first sweetheart tells me: They should bottle your scent.
I tell him: They do.
O, Nutty Nuggets,
let me apologize!
The smell of you is not an insult.
I love you, after all, consume you,
would never sugar you.
I buy unscented lotion now
slick heaps of white entubbed.
Grape-Nuts, did I learn to love myself?
I smell like:
a grandmother like:
someone with a rash.
But you cannot imagine, Moistureless Grit Nuggets:
the ethereal softness of my skin.
My grandmother once felt my wrist and said
boys would stroke her wrists (Oh, Laurel!)
and tell her how soft she was (You’re so soft!).
At the time:
the whole thing seemed rather unbelievable:
her arms were wrinkly.
I doubt her not! I grew up
to boys stroking me
and telling me:
O, Grape-Nuts! O, estrogen! O, mysteries of Woman!
These compliments, this lifetime of lotion.
I have let you sit too long to write this poem!
you have gone soft:
and I preferred you before.
O! Loving you is lunacy!
I dipped two fingers:
in my grandmother’s cow print tub.
it’s cream she told me
so I stuck them : in my mouth.
is a poet and teacher from Wyoming. Her work is forthcoming in The Columbia Review.
Art by Kory Twaddle
“Biogram from Home to the Trader Joe’s & PetCo in Tustin”
Marker, charcoal, graphite, and stickers on card stock
Kory Twaddle has continuously created and exhibited her artwork in every place she has been able to live and work, including the Southwest, New England, the West Coast, and the Midwest. She earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from the Maine College of Art in Portland, and her BFA in Art from the University of Oklahoma. Twaddle grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma, where her Dust Bowl grandparents taught her to recycle things. Her mixed-media, abstract works map her most-used routes and diagram her daily life at home and in her studio, using a range of sensory information and body memory.