Doc Suds

He moved to America and started chewing an improbable amount of gum.
Four, five, sometimes six pieces at once.
He sits on a cement retaining wall to watch the boats with anglerfish fluorescents
get rocked by waves that crack like knuckles.
Cinnamint. Wintergreen. Fresh Mist. Cool Blast. Polar Ice.
What are these flavors?
Flowers? Fruits? Roots?
There are no markets or honest grocers to look to.
Textbooks have no answers.
He can’t ask a stranger.
A mystery like the mushrooms
he saw during his first winter in the country.
A clump of gray fungus like sodden cartilage,
they were mangled near the road’s centerline.
He passed them on a walk while chewing
pieces of Arctic Chill.
When the land bared its teeth and tore
the color off its own back.