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Monday, July 20, 2015


by Michael Mark

That empty calorie confection
can lick my 12 hour factory job.
She can take the tip of her tongue
and taste the lonely dark of 3AM
alarms to get to the donut shop,
to mix the batter, to bake the donuts,
spread the icing that she licked and
did not buy. So another customer
tasted her spit. She can suck my middle-
class mortgage. And laugh because I’m
the sucker who has to work two jobs
to pay for it. I can’t walk away. She
can show up at a donut shop and bitch
about America’s obesity issues with all
the sincerity of imitation whipped cream.
She can eat her disgusting words on camera
in front of fat America. She can slip
her tongue in her dessert dancer of a boyfriend
then slide it over the sugary icing and leave
it tasting of arrogance, of pure meanness. That
customer who brought those donuts home
had to wonder why they stunk of revulsion. “I
asked for Boston Cream and got Rude Insolent
Post Teen.” She can flip that tongue so that simple,
happy, rainbow sprinkles smack of stupidity and
selfishness. That tongue can sell out stadiums.
And she can lie with that tongue that she really,
truly, honestly loves what the camera caught her
saying she hates. She can climb to #1 with that tongue.
And the rest of us, we can take a bite of what she leaves
us and pray for a little taste of forgiveness.

Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer and long distance walker. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine, Lost Coast Review, Rattle, Ray’s Road Review, Spillway, Tar River Poetry, Sugar House Review, and other nice places. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.