I don’t remember who you were—
some other kid about my age—
forget too whose idea it was
or if you dared me to, because
afterwards we both pretended
it never happened, we’d never been
morning sun beside the house,
the just-untangled garden hose
and water in a dribble trickle,
in the smallest flower pot
with dark brown soil I scooped—no worms—
a tiny tower when I overturned it
what looked like a chocolate cupcake—not
something no one would ever eat,
what looked I swear like something sweet
until you took a bite.
I do remember you went first,
I do remember hiding beside
the farside of the chimney, worried
some mistake— I shouldn’t hurry
or I’d make a face like you did—
crooked smile, black-outlined lips,
your mouth agape and drooling dirt.
were you being funny?
something yummy was really yucky?
my mother like a mother does
in the kitchen making cookies
stirring a bowl of glistening muck
with raisins in it (I hated raisins!),
baking cakes or other stuff
that oftentimes she said was “awful”
until she put the frosting on—
(should I be I putting frosting on—?)
misleading things adults will say:
“we used to make mud pies for fun!”
“what a mess that always was!”—
even brothers at the dinner table
calling spaghetti “snakes in blood”—
they never mention how it tastes!
I bit. I gagged and spit. come on!
how else was I to know? and now
boy-oh-boy I know.