A Year Without Sweethearts

After 116 years as America’s confectionery currency of affection, Sweethearts (love u) are dead . . . [Their] maker, the New England Confectionery Company . . . was sold in a bankruptcy auction in May.
—the Washington Post, February 8, 2019


Sweethearts, you’re lost to bankruptcy,
gone with the flavors we once loved—
let’s kiss    my pet    say yes    love bug
Concrete hearts, seductive candy,

pastel hints we scattered freely—
girl power    soul mate    let’s ride    what’s up?
Hoard all the boxes! Bankruptcy
robs us of ways to say we loved—

r u shy?    no way    fax me    text me—
Mottos and murmurs disapproved
vanish from shelves, sly words removed . . .
my treat    tell me how    sweet pea    ask me
Tokens of ardor in bankruptcy,
you were the proof that, once, we loved.