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From Rhubarb Pie: With Just a Taste of Naughty

Tan, the feel of dry leaves under foot,
the taste of crisp chicken skin,
like the tan in the smell of leather
and the feel of sitting on a wooden stool.


Tan, sounds of a Spanish guitar,
the hand that plucks the strings
as sunbaked sand
blows over the arid desert.


The taste of tan in caramel pudding,
the laughter of an aging man,
his voice course and raspy
and stains on fingers that smell of nicotine.


The promise of an angry father,
his child hiding to protect his hide,
the old hound dog
baying when the racoon is treed.


An uninteresting color, tan
like lukewarm water,
unseasoned food,
a disinterested lover.


Tan, not dark brown chocolate,
nor flat white skim milk,
a swirl of color and temperature
a milkshake of subtle flavor.