“Buffet” by Stephanie Macias

Single late thirties is a buffet
of cold meat and
that pizza you cannot will into being delicious
no matter how tight
you shut your eyes.
you’re still not sure
if the $7.99 plus tax
will overdraft your account.
It’s hard getting down to the business
of eating fast enough
to forget there’s no taste—
the spongy meat breaking apart readily
like an asteroid in the atmosphere of your mouth,
rice hard as pebbles because
you should have scooped under the surface,
the tepid mashed potatoes
might as well be ground cardboard—am I supposed to forget
my worth
in order to have a mouth
to kiss?
All that glitter tongue
I had in my twenties
was wasted on a hotter buffet
whose only secret was
my punctual arrival
at noon.

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