Fast-food short-order poet

I make you a poem,

an eggroll

in kitchen Chinee

with the plum sauce,

dragon mustard, sealed inside —

inside, the zap, the wise.

I stuff you a poem

in a pocket–eh?—

like the Lebanee. A pita

for when you’re hungry,

for when you’re full,


Wipin’ pen on apron

I sling you hash

with eggs of duck — or mebbe

you like an openface, a chili size?

Green tea, yes? Fortune cookie?

Yeah, sealed-in secrets.

Enough now?

Hey! Mebbe I fix you a gyro

oozing, or a very frank, or —

I know — a pizza.

I hurry it, spicy,

while it bakes, I tell you

for sure,

poems are burritos

outta the microwave

gettin’ hotter as they stand,

pepper-hot, too, Szechuan style.

As you suffer, you may crave more…

— Dawn F. Kawahara, C 2020


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