Take two pounds of sugar
and one pint of water.

Pour one over other
watch the bubbling air trapped
in sediment and silt
in creamy clouds unfurled like tattered flags.

Shake and stir unevenly
and slowly heat.  Watch
satanic verses write themselves
in gasping mare’s tail script
under the surface.

Stir a twister as the clean clear
air shows through and stripes
the liquid thickening to spittle.
Turn the heat up more.

Watch the pot catch breath
around the edges, bubbles climbing
sheer cliffs stained with long gone
spice.  Listen to the roar of water-sugar/
sugar-water hissing as they fuse.

Turn off the heat.  Flavour some
with floury palms of elderflower.  Drink.
Catch flies and wasps.  Feed hummingbirds.
Star watercolour washes with a brush end’s drop.

Keep a jam jar by your bed
and shake it once at night time,
once after you wake and count
the lifetimes that it takes to wind
away ten minutes at the stove.


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