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  • A Year Without Sweethearts
  • Ned Balbo (bio)

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 bugConcrete hearts, seductive candy,

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

ru shy? no way fax me text meMottos and murmurs disapprovedvanish from shelves, sly words removed . . .my treat tell me how sweet pea ask meTokens of ardor in bankruptcy,you were the proof that, once, we loved. [End Page 127]

Ned Balbo

ned balbo’s newest books are Three Nights of the Perseids, winner of the Richard Wilbur Award, and The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots, winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize, both published in 2019. A previous book, The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, was awarded the Poets’ Prize and the Donald Justice Prize. He is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship and is married to poet-essayist Jane Satterfield.



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