fried water i crave the kind of frills only oil can know. i used to measure a cup of frozen french fries into their basinette, lowering them down into toiling gold. summer was hungry for all our fingers. the burns like deep kisses on my hands & wrists. i worked at the malt shoppe most weekends. around me checker boards blinked & turned. my face, full of moons, reflected back at me in the glass store front windows. lines of bodies. all their grasping. eager for extremes. the burning heat of french fries & corn dogs. luscious cool of a strawberry cone. then there was me, ever in transit. making a life in mouthfuls. i remember one night standing in our small bathroom, looking in the square mirror that was just about the size of my face. i wanted another minute alone but the people kept coming escapees from the humid night. sixteen, i dreamed of slipping into oil & becoming succulent & needed. saw oceans of gold flickering. all of us laying bellies to the stars. went back out & finished the orders. smiling with my sidewalk square teeth until closing.