the trouble with redheads

BY Timothy Snediker

their hair does not taste like cinnamon.
you cannot snap off pieces of it,
pop them into your mouth 

unless it is freezing outside.
anyway, you'd be better off
throwing your coat over her shoulders, 

perhaps stealing a kiss from
her cheekbone, but the freckles
are not sprinkled nutmeg, not

spicy at all unless she has
been eating bell peppers, habaneros—
some incendiary flammable mexican dish,

the vapors and particles spreading
slow and sure like a smile
or an uncalculated blush across

the dimpled fresh landscape,
and still you'd be better off
simply offering to pay for her meal—

even better, offer her a cigarette.
if she accepts you will end up kissing her
later in the evening under the pretense

of cleaning her lips of the deadly nicotine.
if she refuses you'll have the cigarette
to smoke while she kisses another man, or a wall,

or a woman, the delicate cream of a stout lager.
but if she saves a kiss for you, departing
into the night like a torch into some

subterranean lovesick grotto,
remember your pocket tin of altoids,
pop one

or two
and put the cinnamon
back into her.


Timothy Snediker resides in Fayetteville, AR, and is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in English at John Brown University. He is made of stars.