I Can Taste It

Success is sweeter on the tongue when you’re at only a mile away.
It’s a saccharine butterscotch melting into the back of your mouth,
the kind you take from the doctor’s office, the kind that you force yourself to believe tastes good.
Desire is like that,
You don’t know it until you’ve suckled from her strawberry-stained lips but by then
you’ve already overstepped your welcome. You’re there to stay.

When you want something you subconsciously reach for your brother’s boy-scout pocket knife,
inscript it into a groove in your cerebellum so that the shape of your desire becomes a way of living
But freedom is the pink gumball at the toy store, the one that never seems to tumble into your palm

Lately, you’ve been plotting
Stealing quarters from your mother’s purse and picking up pennies from cracked suburban sidewalks, the want inside you is seething, growing,
Manifesting into a bruise-colored anger.
You don’t know it until you’re on the highway and three hours away from home and watching cities blur by
but damn do you want
to get the hell out of here.

By Esther Lee