Fourteen Applications

A cellophane membrane frames the glossy box
That reads like the tail of an airplane at LAX;
The miniature menu of instructions flutters
From the scissored cardboard edges to my lap.

Fourteen applications is the dental plan
That offers Heisenberg-blue upper strips
Like 17th Century quatrains for some sonnet
And their smaller lowers the ending couplet.

The rhyme is the goal in this form poem
While it’s white I want in this home gel kit,
Whose accentual-syllabic dentin is darkened.
Unlike ancient Romans with their urine

And goat potions, my muse in peroxide lies
From the A3 to the A1 on VITA color shade guides.

Candice Kelsey

Candice Kelsey is the author of a trade paperback nonfiction book (de Capo, 2007) about adolescents and the vanguard of the social media age, which was voted one of’s top ten parenting guides and top five technology books by Christianity Today. She has written for various blogs, presented to the U.S. Department of Education, spoken at community education events globally, been quoted in major periodicals such as The Atlantic (which labeled her research “first-rate”), and interviewed as the lead guest on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show. Her poems have been published in a few print and online publications, including The Forum (San Francisco City College), 13th Floor Magazine, and now F(r)Online, and have been provisionally accepted by Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. She is also a co-founder and English Department Chair of an independent private high school in Santa Monica where she continues her 18-year career in education. Candice is an Ohio native who carves out life in Los Angeles with the help of her three children and many pets. She finds inspiration in Linda Pastan, Sharon Olds, Billy Collins, C.K. Williams, and Warsan Shire.