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Oh, sister, sometimes the nostalgia chokes us up,

            wondering at the whey we ate straight,


Valued higher than parmesan pickles and French bread pizza,

            smoked turkey croissants and Schwan’s watermelon sherbet.


A mound of cocoa malt dust, molars clacking on the tablespoon

            or two we swallowed when the kitchen cleared of adults who’d holler,


Languishing down our gullets, saliva melting

            a silty brown river from soft palate to out-stuck


Tongues. Jars hidden above the fridge, buried in cabinet corners,

            we'd open the pull-fresh tab before the last one emptied  


In hopes of sating our powdery fiending, of conjuring

            our own abundance when home was anything but sweet.


No, we rarely swirled in milk, ignoring the orphan’s directive, though

            sometimes we garnished vanilla ice cream, smashing to soupy delicacy.


Elyse, why did we allow ourselves so little, spoonfuls

            of bliss here and there, when we hungered for so much more?