by Melanie Faith
For Squirrel Face
Whose first side must be
knob set to 2. Then cool.
Whose second side must be
knob set to 1. Then cool.
Not halfway cool. Not mild bath-
water through the tub tap cool.
Bone cold. And crunchy. And
you can’t use any old bread on hand,
you can’t use white bread;
the bread must be wheat,
whole wheat enriched
with vitamins. And make it cool.
Make sure it is cool. Are you sure
it’s cool? Like
there must always be,
along with each entrée,
one saucy word without breath
swirled in a cyclone dob
on the side margin of the plate. Cool
like a plastic snack cup of congealed pudding
cold; in that case chocolate,
in this case crunchy, in this case
encased with “blue jelly”
that is not grape but raspberry;
you know it’s raspberry. Jelly,
not jam. Spread end-to-end
only on one side. Yes, you eat
the crust without complaint.
Yes, you never use any butter;
Melanie Faith is a poet, professor, and photographer. She wrote a craft book about the flash genre to inspire fellow writers, In a Flash!: Writing & Publishing Dynamic Flash Prose (Vine Leaves Press, April 2018, http://www.vineleavespress.com/in-a-flash-by-melanie-faith.html), and her next book, Poetry Power, will be published (Vine Leaves Press) in October 2018. Her flash-fiction craft articles appeared in Nunum (August and June 2018). Her short stories are forthcoming from Red Coyote (fall 2018). Her historical poetry collection, This Passing Fever, set in 1918's influenza epidemic, was published by FutureCycle press in early September 2017. Melanie collects quotes, books, and twinkly costume-jewelry brooches. To learn more, visit: https://www.melaniedfaith.com/blog/