Why He Won't Eat the Hot Meal So Charitably Provided
by Janis Butler Holm

    He sees how the lettuce
    slides around the plate,
    yellow and cunning,
    mysterious in its ways.

    He notes that the fries
    are pointing southeast,
    that they are sharp and oiled
    and spattered with red.

    The tomato slices whisper
    soft pink obscenities,
    their harlot song calling
    to his lips, his tongue.

    He smells in his burger
    the black, smokey flesh
    of things small and tender.
    And he's back at My Lai.

    And he's up and running,
    he's running, and around him
    the jungle, the colors,
    the chaos, the horror.

    He's running and stumbling
    and heaving and moaning.
    He's running, and he's thinking
    that he wants to go home.

Copyright 2021 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.