For Mimi

I’ll be honest with you:

I hate Jello.

It’s over sugared liquid candy,
drops of jiggled splatters don’t do a thing for my palate.

It’s what I imagine plasma would feel like on my tongue–
not liquid, not solid, just oozing masses
of childhood flavors
that taste like kindergarten
and smell like a playdate with the neighbor I don’t like
but whose mom is best friends with mine.

The globules melt,
kaleidoscopic colors in my mouth
gather at the base of my throat, teasing
my uvula until I think I may sneeze or cough or
accidentally even swallow some of the gelled fructose
and be forced to know the feeling of thousands of tiny guppies
swimming down to my stomach, their tails and fins flopping
through my larynx.

Then, when I think the worst is over,
I realize I have the film to deal with;
the plastic wrap coating on my teeth
and tongue and cheeks and gums
that I scrape off with a long fingernail
and see the slightly grayed leftovers
of cherry; the same red tone without any shine
and marbelized with what I assume can later be tested
for DNA–should there be a need.

But even so,
for you I’ll bite.


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