in my room when i was little i always wondered
what the colour of my walls would taste like.
i imagined white paint by the bucket
to be incomparably sweet. light and fresh,
like vanilla body mist coating your throat
with a pleasant, heady, breathless high.
to bathe in it, soft and unsticky.
the platonic ideal of a milkshake without the calories.
bright on the skin, covering, purifying,
the filling feeling of uniform goodness.
i could put my head under and drink forever
and be cleansed from inside out by the nectar
of things being all as they should be:
the devotion of a daughter
pure as a glass of milk,
whipped butter on fluffy pancakes,
smooth as white roses, sharp as baby teeth—
the cottony peaks of a sunny day’s clouds,
or a bowl of fresh merengue.
the whites of your eyes, spread wide in innocence,
the right look at the right time,
white like the crests of perfect crescent nails,
digging into skin.
calcite-bright, white chocolate-sweet,
gentle powdery icing sugar puffs
at the edge of the cake batter bowl.
i’d be strong enough not to lick the spoon.
soft soft soft and soft and pure and soft,
the froth atop a latte,
untainted, against and bettering the bitter parts,
and all the dark coffee of the world,
everything melting on the tongue.
smooth and liquid, consuming,
dripping down down down.
this is your duty:
you must flow and flow and never spill.
the realisation comes with a sour taste,
lactic and curdled like a bottle forgotten
at the bottom of the fridge:
you will never be pure enough.
the walls are only ever ivory.
resene’s quarter thorndon cream,