Red LifeSavers

by James Reidel

The cherry ones,
So painfully close to the weakest of medicines
Luden’s, Smith Bros., Hall’s,
Hardly a saccharide shy of penny candy,
The same juju clicking against your teeth,
Round red dice,
The hole a glass marble throwing its voice,
That petal trapped inside.
Tumble them again.
They circle back to the same place,
The black water of your mouth.
With your tongue feel the ship’s name,
Always the same ship,
What goes back and forth,
Slow as a balance bubble,
Worked down to carnelian rings,
Slivers of red glass,
A red taste down to a hair.