Poetry at the Burger King

 In Perspective

Prose from “ A Little In Love A Lot” , Poems by Paul Hostovsky


Poetry at the Burger King.

Where is it? It’s not here.

All these plastic chairs and tables

are empty. Nothing but a lot of

dead meat here, and this associate

behind the counter mumbling: Welcome

to Burger King, may I take your order?

Mine is the only car outside in the sad

parking lot ringed by a handful

of gimpy trees, a blue dumpster in the corner.

Beyond that, the highway where I

came from, and where I will return.

If your daily life seems poor, said Rainer

Maria Rilke, do not blame it. Blame yourself.

Tell yourself you are not poet enough

to call forth its riches. I’m fingering a salty

corner of my empty French fries pocket,

licking my fingers, looking out the window

and telling myself I am not poet enough,

when I notice two kids running, sort of

galloping, sort of hopscotching across

the sad parking lot ahead of their parents

and into the Burger King. They are

very happy to be here, this little girl and boy,

jumping up and down now at the counter,

dancing to the song of the associate

which wasn’t a song until their dancing

made it so. there are so many riches

on the menu, they can’t make up their minds.

And while their parents order they play

duck duck goose, touching all the tables,

and all the chairs, the girl behind the boy,

following him, copying him and laughing

louder and louder, because it’s all so wonderful

here at the Burger King, which they seem to have

all to themselves, except for one man in a booth

smiling, writing something down on a piece of paper.

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