Lagniappe Donuts

(for Drew)

We kiss as we walk at Madeira Beach.
I lick lingering notes of apricot nectar
And barrel-oak whiskey from your lips.
Sweet enough to put in your coffee,
Says my oldest friend. She knows me well
Enough to know when you’re being the things I need.

You are alsike to the bees of my senses.
Poems dance, hum, and buzz out where to seek you.
I scatter them around you in mushroom and magnolia rings.
You bring me palm-sized boxes of laughter
Wrapped in the Weekly World News.
My hands want everything to feel like your skin.
Other traces tell me you’ve gone before my eyes open.
As you run five morning miles, I roll into your heat
And wait for the scrape of your shoes on the doormat,
Whisper Welcome home, my honey-thief.

We lie in and watch the rain bounce
Off huffed and sullen crows.
You reach out as if you’d dry their glistening backs,
Say Petal, it’s simple. We just have to keep being.
You’ll wake first again tomorrow morning,
Kiss me and unfold into another day.
I’ve fled you so many times, it was inevitable
That we’d end up here:
Eating lagniappe donuts in bed,
Dropping crackles of sugar-glaze in each other’s laps,
We watch the crows flick their dripping tails and wings dry.

(2011)

Lagniappe is a wonderful concept that I first met as part of Cajun culture. It’s a free gift, usually with a purchase, but not an advertised or expected one. When you buy and pay for a dozen donuts and get home to find a couple of extras added without your knowing (or paying), that’s lagniappe. When the baker asks which is your favorite and throws in an extra one of those for free, that’s lagniappe, too.

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