COLD NIGHT, WARM HAMBURGERS
by Cheryl Buchanan
The day my dad moved in with the other woman,
I became a vegetarian.
I guess my mom was right about some things,
like Cisco, bum wine, liquid crack. Gravity,
I mumbled, while the runningback’s meaty hands
clumsily let slip hunks of my hair, fat strands dipping
into hot chunky remains of the Homecoming party.
I hurled on all fours, grabbing the earth,
until suddenly I was struck by the utter atrocity
of hamburgers. The impurity of flesh, my birth,
this pollution, all piling steamy onto gleaming AstroTurf.
How disgusting and dirty we all had become, cannibals,
carnivores, warm, pink and rotten.
The midnight moonlight exposed my poison
heaved on uninhabitable, plastic grass
while the runningback just kept reliving his game,
a glorified catch at the end of the half.
But, I knew the Hail Mary. It was all in the pass,
spinning graceless and groundless,
ungripped between thieves.
Cheryl Buchanan is a former attorney from Los Angeles and current MFA candidate and Writing Instructor at Emerson College. After having worked in social justice for over a decade she is interested in promoting the power of literature and poetry in marginalized communities. She presently leads a creative writing workshop at a Boston homeless center. In May 2014 she received the Academy of American Poets Prize.