We’ve seen claims that Twinkies . . . aren’t baked, the sponge cake instead being “a pure chemical reaction” involving something that “foams up”; the deception is made complete by coloring the confections’ bottoms brown to make it appear that they’ve been baked . . . As always, the truth is far less exciting than the lore. 

as if         you were ever wide-eyed enough to believe in urban legends

as if         these plot elements weren’t the stalest of clichés: the secret lab, the 
        anaerobic chamber, the gloved hand ex machina, the chemical-
        infused fog

as if         every origin story didn’t center on the same sweet myth of a lost 

as if         such longing would seem more palatable if packaged as nostalgia

as if         there had once been an instant of unity, smoothly numinous, pellucid

as if         inner and outer were merely phases of the same substance

as if         this whiteness had been your original condition

as if         it hadn’t been what was piped into you, what suffused each vacant 
        cell, each airhole, each pore

as if         you had started out skinless, shameless, blameless, creamy

as if         whipped, passive

as if         extruded, quivering with volatility in a metal mold

as if         a catalyzing vapor triggered a latent reaction

as if         your flesh foamed up, a hydrogenated emulsion consisting mostly 
        of trapped air

as if         though spongelike, you could remain shelf-stable for decades, part 
        embalming fluid, part rocket fuel, part glue

as if         instead you had been named twin, a word for “likeness”; or wink, a 
        word for “joke”; or ink, a word for “stain”; or key, a word for “answer”

as if         your skin oxidized to its present burnished hue, golden

as if         homemade