Black licorice stains
Sandpaper like rubbed on tongue
taste tattoo, father time’s
arthritic painting pain
color of the words my lips form.
Dry parchment cheeks erase
sugar smile dimples
Sticky thick caramel coating
hard to swallow, gag reflex
out smoother than in.
Bitter white inhale reminder
tannin thick mucus palette cleanse
smile-pulled; what no home cooked
pan fried artificial sweetener ever did.