Fresh from the hot oil, crisp on the edges and covered in white powdered sugar. Eaten standing up or sitting perched on the edge of a shaky wooden bench. Napkins bunched in one hand, stuffed in the back pocket or dropped in haste for that first sweet bite. The sun is high or fading into darkness. Clouds of sugar around your face. White streak across your left cheek. Left hand warm from palming the paper plate. I think I love you.
My favorite food is a fair staple. Fairs mean late summer or early fall. People go in groups, get on rides with questionable safety standards, walk around, and eat food they would never eat otherwise. I associate my favorite food with happiness, with friends and family, with joy.
And it’s not a clean food
or a food that allows for shyness.
Reach your hand in there,
lick that sugar off, pick up clumps of dough and sugar with a moistened finger.
Funnel cake means corny 90’s music.
Funnel cake means kids up way past their bedtimes.
It means Bobby and Mary’s first date.
It means hoards of teenagers.
It means try your luck and win a goldfish.
It means light jackets,
ripped tickets trampled in the dirt,
the sound of laughter.
*Note, my dear friend, Elise, contributed this topic for me to write about during November’s NANOWRIMO*