Would You Like Cheese with That.
A child with no Happy Meal whines, But I want it, to her mom who has no Chanel bag, But it's so cute, to her husband who wants a new Jag. One long Please sung in endless rotation from a heart with a marketing hole what we fear and want pay to widen, cars to make us cool or Coke to make us kind. My son wants a bear for his bear and a phone for that bear because both phone and bear are stamped with the logo of his favorite video game. Or I'll die, is what he says as he drops to his knees and clasps his palms in prayer as if having once given him life I have the power to save him from death, though what he knows of prayer he's seen on TV. But I fear he'll one day strap an AK-47 to his back and shoot up a Walgreens for not filling the meds the ads tell his psychiatrist to prescribe for his anti-social behavior. I know I should have a Zen palace at the center of my being, that breath alone aligns the chakras. But who has time to sit cross-legged with each Big Mac attack? I don't want to be uncool or unkind. I want toys to stop selling my kid the idea that pink is for girls. I want less windows that reflect sky and more sky. I want to whine less and sing more, belt out from the gut one fine bawl, because when I used to double-dutch with Maureen and Molly at fifth-grade recess with nothing but barely there string strung together from an old basketball hoop, I'd lift my body into the space between the ropes that thwacked the asphalt to the beat of two all-beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese, which isn't about food, we insisted, or where we should buy it. It was about making a place, a shelter, a shield where no one else could enter unless they knew the words.
VALERIE BANDURA is the author of Freak Show (Black Lawrence Press, 2013). She teaches writing at Arizona State University.
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|Title Annotation:||three poems|
|Publication:||The American Poetry Review|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2016|
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