Days of Candy

by Caleb Nichols

Of course the oranges you picked tasted like candy.
I tasted them days later,
days later thought of you,
how we wrote the new moon,
spoke it; how the fire refused
to be put out. A green flame—
boron burning you said,
a green flame, then blue,
how does a blue flame taste?
How the sky tastes at sunset—soft
pinks, orange creams—the green flash,
somehow you missed it, but here, I’ll show you:

one pinpoint of jade
blinked in the
deep candy dusk.

Days later tasted candy,
days later thought of blue
stars jeweled through linen leaves,
faded into eggshell morning,
crickets into screaming jays, hawks in flight
drafting down the canyon,
how that canyon cast a spell,
Depression Cherry on the stereo,
my hand on your knee,
day break, pain break, joy break,
a peeling back of burnt bark,
what peeling back the bark revealed:
sapwood, heartwood, tenderness and blood,
what blood tastes like; what days do—
apple green, and orange and blue.

Caleb Nichols is a queer poet and musician from California. His poetry has been featured in perhappened mag, Cypress: A Literary Journal, and elsewhere. His poem, “Ken,” won an Academy of American Poets University Prize, and his first chapbook, 22 Lunes, is available from Unsolicited Press.