A FLAT SWEETNESS
Ask him his favorite color.
He says blue. I’m his best friend—
I know better. He says a blue sky
is like a busted vein, prefers yellow
but keeps that a secret. A man
of many secrets. Raylene found out
about Juanita the waitress.
He said she was just helping him
with his popcorn popper. She could
fix anything. Raylene shrugs off his lies.
When he says, “Ray, I love you” she knows
he means himself. She calls him
a snowball melting on a window sill.
The sun burns away all his lies,
leaves nothing. Skip had a fight
with truth. It happened in first grade.
He told the truth, that he had stolen
a dime from his teacher Mrs. Wright.
Expelled, his dad gave him a “whippin’.”
He walked away from truth.
It wasn’t reliable. Coke—
until the fizz falls away and only
a flat sweetness remains.