– Jim Daniels
An average joe comes in
and orders thirty cheeseburgers and thirty fries.
I wait for him to pay before I start cooking.
He ain’t no average joe.
The grill is just big enough for ten rows of three.
I slap the burgers down
throw two buckets of fries in the deep frier
and they pop pop spit spit…
The counter girls laugh.
It is the crucial point-
They are ready for the cheese:
my fingers shake as I tear off slices
toss them on the burgers/fries done/dump/
refill buckets/burgers ready/flip into buns/
beat that melting cheese/wrap burgers in plastic/
into paper bags/fries done/dump/fill thirty bags/
bring them to the counter/wipe sweat on sleeve
and smile at the counter girls.
I puff my chest out and bellow:
“Thirty cheeseburgers, thirty fries!”
They look at me funny.
I grab a handful of ice, toss it in my mouth
do a little dance and walk back to the grill.
Pressure, responsibility, success,
thirty cheeseburgers, thirty fries.
For more information on Jim Daniels, please click here: here.
Thanks to Alison McGhee for curating these amazing poems.
You wandered through my life like a backwards wish
when I was ready for deliverance.
I was ready for release
like a pinball in God’s mouth
like charanga on Tuesdays
like the summer in Shanghai
when we prayed for a rainstorm
and bartered our shame, then we tore open oranges
with four dirty thumbs.
And the forecast said Super
so we chartered a yacht
and we planted a garden on the unbending prow
but the sea said Surrender
with its arms full of salt, and wind shook the seeds
from our shirt coat pockets
so when we washed up on the shoreline of sunlight
near the city of wind
we were broken and thin, like wraiths at a wake.
But you tilted your head up and told me I was wild
so I lifted my life
and I lifted your life
and we wandered through the gate of radiant days
then we married our splendor
in the hall of bright rule.
And I thank you again: you gave madness a chance
and you lassoed the morning
and we met on a Tuesday
in a dance hall in Shanghai
and I left you in a leap year for the coveted shoreline
and you wept like a book when it’s pulled from a well.
But you were the one who told me I was wild
and you were the one who wrestled the angel
and I knew when I left you
that courage was a choice
and memory, a spear,
and the X of destination is etched on my iris
and shifts with the seasons—
don’t think of the phoenix, think of the mountain.
But where will I go now with my tireless wonder?
And when will I again be brave like that?
For more information on Brynn Saito, please click here: http://brynnsaito.com/
A big thanks to Alison McGhee for her tireless pursuit of beautiful word castles.