In the face of bitterness
I have mastered sweetness.
By the end of this day I will have calculated
exact measurements of cream
to wipe clean the face of gravestones.
I will have learned to soothe the aching
of windswept hearts,
to break open on my part
like a shell of chocolate
quivering open, full of cream.
I will have learned to love grief
as dearly as my own dream.
At the end of my childhood -my dream-
of owning a candy store:
a sweet shop, a bakery….
specializing in the art of the glazed.
The wedding cakes, the brick tarts,
memory of a birthday, of candles, happy catering
for happy occasions of all kinds…
will grow up with time,
and like the end of the day, seeing the look on my parents' face,
feeling the clutch of my big brother's hand
I will know:
-the childlike shame-
to have a better chance at happiness.
My dream will transform
it will change
under the rain, under
wind walking through cypress
trees, it will
become something new.
Cleaner, realistic-er, the kind of thing
Mom secretly celebrates in a dream
as she sleeps the day away, plagued
by financial worries.
The candy Gran gave me (this grave of me)
melting its sweetness into my hands.
My hands will smell like lemons and syrup
all through my natural life.
Everything I touch will sweeten, sticky
itself in the light.
Grief transforms (into fruited blooms, heavy
dew, linen sheets, the clothes
blowing fresh in the wind. White as sugar, crust
with sunlight). Sweetness, such sweetness,
will enter me like a prayer.
I'll turn to candy in the light, my hands
become that of a sugary, raw
I will open the doors of my shop.
I will invite the lovely children in,
the lonely wives and widowed fathers,
as well. I'll tell
the grandparents not to hang back, come in,
have a snack, sit on down, take a plate
would you like cream or chocolate cake?
in the face of such silence,
I have my baking oven.
I have my taffy-maker, my bubbling pans
of dulce de leche. I have a family wrought
of a sickening-silence, a brother
made of stone, a mother
—like candy glass.
I'll have speeches, some sermons,
I'll have my hearty attempts to cheer them up,
I'll have frustrations
ending like songs at the end of a record,
breaking me down like sugars in stomach acid,
turning to glass and candy crystal.
I'll have delicate,
I'll have fragile,
I'll have an unbroken
love in my hands,
I'll have love,
I'll be love.
Grief has created something.
In me, a world,
at once real and illusionary,
standing in the face of bitterness
-and having mastered sweetness-
it breaks open like a candy shell
revealing the hardened core of love:
a single sun/son of hard candy.