Dream Journal and Interpretation from a Sober, Hungry Addict
The golden arches fall. A barred owl lays eggs inside the “o” in “McDonalds.”
I ate Big Macs so I can stop using drugs. I used drugs because I could not stomach shame.
My Facebook feed, free of fast-food ads, teaches me to make Grandma’s cabbage rolls.
As a kid, I watched Grandma shake salt on everything.
As a kid, I stripped the rolls of their cabbage and ate only the rice, beef, and pork.
Restaurant debit machines ask, “how are you?” before asking for a tip.
I tip extra when the too-short legs of my table are left napkinless and free to wobble.
I tip extra when the waiter acknowledges I am dining alone.
I tip extra when my fortune cookie predicts the past.
An upgrade from a diet of aluminum foil and smoke.
Because I consumed meals with the speed and teeth of a garburator, my nickname in treatment was “Garby.”
Triple King Burger
2018: Alan and Sam die from fentanyl.
2014: Sober, we stroll Commercial Street. Don’t spend a cent. Don’t eat a thing.
An upgrade from a diet of peanut butter.
I will not touch a slug, even if its path leads to splat and I’m the only one who can save it.
I will not touch a house salad, even if its path leads to less trans-fat and it’s the only food that can save me.
Sweetness is (and always will be) my tongue’s preferred currency.
My continued sobriety rests on a skill testing question: “Is Pepsi okay?”
Coke versus Pepsi.
Heroin versus coke.
I shed my belly and develop cheese grater abs. Not to flex at the beach or in the bedroom. No, just to grate cheese.
If my stomach is a tool, my body is an overflowing toolshed.
I become a barred owl
and swallow one hundred squirrels.
Spenser Smith is a Regina-born poet and essayist who lives in Vancouver. His work appears in The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, The Capilano Review, Poetry Is Dead, and The Puritan.
This poem was originally published in the digital edition of Vallum issue 18:1 Invisibility.
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