POEM XIX: “WILLY WONKA CAN KISS MY ASS”

The Dutch scent their candy with ammonia,
and roll their licorice in a rind of salt.

Mexican children eat packets of a spice mixture,
basically citric acid and chili powder,
that could bore out the stomach of a goat.

And the Inuit, before the Europeans came,
gave their babies the white gristle of whales to chew.

Give me any of it, give me it all,
but just don’t give me any more
of this barren dust
that the Americans call candy.
Waxen chocolate,
brittle wafers,
anemic gum,
all stamped with the manufacturer’s mark,
as if food were china,
or a spark plug,
or a gun.

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