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.

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