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Long Beach, CA

Hard Candy

Poetry Blog

Hard Candy

Brandon Cook

I bought six boxes of my favorite candies—
Hard coffee toffee that tastes like Christmas and childhood
Figuring that their presence,
There in the basket by the pantry,
Would fancy my delight after each hard daylight

Men used to come home and curse Kennedy or Nixon and pour a Scotch
It’s something close to that
To take the edge off|
But they just sat there, untouched
As calendar pages dropped one by one in a long film noir montage, through the seasons

When I came back to them, they had soured, gone soft
And I ended up trying to freeze them back to life before throwing them out
All rubbish

Then, at Christmas,
My sweet wife got me a small package of the same, nestled into the toe-nook of my stocking
And like a Phoenix rising,
They tasted, one by one, like bliss incarnate, bedeviling senses
A bite-sized shell of soul-song

I don’t know what it all means, but I’m quite sure there’s a parable or a poem somewhere inside this story, like a soft caramel center

Storehouses don’t always please the soul
It’s not the having, it’s the letting go
Delight is a dish best served slow