Candy Shop by Seowon (Angela) Lee

Illustration by Mallory Evans

Illustration by Mallory Evans

She steps through the door, held open
through clanging sweet shop bells
to agar, sucrose, stitched carbon structures,
rings of peach.

Girls should be sugar and spice, he says,
should shush and shuffle,
be bitten lips and held down fists,
as if ‘everything nice’ is everything.
We are what we are fed.

You’re lucky I don’t hit girls, he says
then from where blossomed
our busted licorice lacquer lips?
Dust our lashes with snow sugar,
mute our maw with molasses
to stick a finger and lick a taste.

Flies gasp in amber drops, cavities captivating decay
in a candy shop of sweet acridity. Dare buy
our silence in pennies and granules of hypocrisy, and
dare say, smile for me, sweetheart, darling, dearest.

See how the heart is slewn in insulin, by
a bowl of sugar, jar of honey
sitting behind glass on sunlit window panes
stained with sticky fingerprints.

She kicks open the door of the shop, she buys nothing
he says. Sweet doe-eyed, tongue-tied, complacent convenience,
she says I eat what I want.

Seowon (Angela) Lee is a freshman in Columbia College who will probably major in some combination of Creative Writing and English because she is indecisive and abhors math. Her work has been published in the Jet Fuel Review and the Claremont Review as well as in her high school literary magazine The Wit, which has won the National Press Association award. She is currently obsessed with first snow, Percy Shelley, and trying to survive her first semester of college. Instagram | Facebook