By Ryan Bloom

Love and Social Justice Like Rotting Sugar

By Megan Synder

You told me once that you didn’t have much of a sweet tooth

I wondered shortly after if you only ever tasted

Queer, black, female.

 

You spoke of love like saccharine milk left out, on the counter

I debated whether you liked watching it curdle or forgot like

10 days past expiration and 30 minutes past scheduled date.

 

You marinated in your depression and your stanzas sizzled with your sadness

I wrote poems about your intrigue and begged for another helping because

Force feeding.

 

You loved smoking blunts and listening to conscious hip-hop

I started running and eating vegetables and only sometimes missed

Sugar, sugar, simple.

 

You told me that everything in this life takes guts

I prayed you couldn’t read green in my face, as I excused myself to take twice the recommended dose of Peptol

Hiding in your bathroom.

 

You shook in silence and in solitude when they shot Freddie Gray and

Swore up and down that it was milk that spilled from Tamir Rice and

Soured the sidewalk.

 

I started consuming current events by plugging my nose, swallowing really fast, and

Regurgitating an appropriated take on social justice, and yet you

Indulged me.

 

Because you knew bitterness intimately

And didn’t want to spoil my appetite.

 

I scoured the aisles and resigned in deference to your poignancy,

Wondering if I had anything to give you–

Something sour, something crunchy, something goddamned nutritious

Worth something. Worth anything.

Wondering if you’d ever give me more than

Meets expectations moans and one

Honey dipped ear.

 

I’m at your door about to leave

Hopes of sleeping over, cooked when you stood up from the bed

Wondering if you’d ever give me more

You gave me cream puffs and oatmeal raisin cookies

My favorite sugar.