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Friday, September 05, 2014


by Michelle Marie

Protesters demand higher pay at the Tenleytown McDonald's. (WTOP/Savannah Simons)

this poem is sick but
goes home without pay

the bleach bucket, no
time for a scrub, scrub clean

these working conditions. scrub
this median wage of $10 per/hr
tips included//

this poem makes 44% less
than most poems, turn your head, scrub

clean that busted look on your
face & those
anxious demands

what it's about//the customer?
that can afford to eat out/ but
not tip? that busted

institution, the restaurant industry

your demands aren't better pay

       but a different table
       lemon slices
       this poem's favorite thing on the menu
       an extra side of _____
       a raspberry vinaigrette
       the check, faster

though you couldn't have
eaten slower

Michelle Marie is author of countless protest letters archived at and a weird piece called "Fucking" in Bluestockings Magazine Issue 4.