White Rabbit

It will never appear

in the retro candy store


among 5th Avenue bars

and Now and Laters


evoking both absence

and presence.


Yet it made many cameos

in the past, at the homes


of certain friends, the ones

with connections.


Like Botan Rice Candy

but packed with no toy,


it gestured to insiders:

eat the clear wrapper.



in a lunchbox,


it still got noticed

but with less coldness


than greeted haw flakes.

Who could mistake


sweet milk and vanilla

for a foreign invader?



should have been an option


for White Rabbit,

its artist’s palette


as inexplicable

as the comic strip


in Bazooka gum,

but it gained no traction


except at the margins

where suspicion


failed to flourish,

the obvious purpose


being sugar,

its three characters —


big    white    rabbit  —

bearing no implicit


Communist leaning.

At New Year gatherings


big bowls of them

invited everyone


to acknowledge their rarity

outside the festivities


but meanwhile take handfuls

as if they were plentiful.