Unfortified

If I hadn’t found the paving job
that summer I would surely
have worked a fast food
joint at some level.

I loved a double
cheeseburger that year,
washed down with a half
pint carton of milk.
I would have enjoyed a fry
gig, couple of baskets
sizzling simultaneously
and me so good I’d be crowned
a grease king or at least
employee of some month—
my lifting, shaking and timing
so finely tuned, no batch ever
gilded any way but gold.

In the asphalt world,
I soon found I lacked
the skills to ever be expert
in spreading and beveling
and realized the same
would have been true
in the fast food universe.

Exhausted and lounging
with my double cheeses
and milk fortified
with vitamin D,
I kept the sweaty workers
in their grill and fry pit
heavens or hells out
of sight, just meditated
on the cool and slow
motion master
of parking lot trash
and wondered if he ever
considered the tricky
surface under his broom.

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