Carl's Jr.

Jeremy Radin | Poetry

I haven’t eaten all day because I don’t have
a car yet & so I sit in my house which doesn’t
always have the food I want in it & sometimes
I have forgotten to steal money from my dad’s
money clip which means I’ve spent all day waiting
for him to get home & leave it on the counter
so I can snatch a twenty or two or three out of it
so that when my friends arrive at eleven to pick
me up I will be ready to go to whichever drive-
through we choose to go to on this night, after
we have done whatever it is we’re going to do:
sit around making jokes or drive around making
jokes or play Sardines or Car Tag or Fugitive or
honk the horns outside Vanessa’s house or play
pranks or hours of Halo or laugh at idiot videos
on E-Baum’s World in Catherine’s den or watch
Jurassic Park at my house again, my dad snoring
like a giant cave in a book of myths in the bed
that I will one day find him dead inside of, dead
as I am trying to make myself when finally, thank
goodness, we pull up—tonight it’s Dean & I—to
the Carl’s Jr. & I lean over him to place my order:
One Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger, one Famous
Star with cheese, chicken strips, extra large curly fries,
extra large Oreo sha- & then he hits the gas & pulls
away from the talk-box, right in the middle of
my order & he says No way, fool, I’m not letting you
do that to yourself, & though I must laugh it off I am
seething, I am furious, furious as a mastiff, eater
of angers, plague of locusts craving some kind
of whatever—you all have girlfriends, you’ll all
marry them—this is it for me, & besides the jokes
we make about my body we never speak about it
& yes, maybe it’s because this is the moment I know
you understand, Dean, what I’m doing to myself,
what I want to do, what watery & inevitable queen
I am courting, that I want to kill you—lean across
the seat & chew your throat out & swallow you into
this terrible hunger, terrible body, this ocean, this
legion, this ancient appetite, it’s all I have, burgers
& fries & shakes & sodas, it’s all I have & you are
depriving me of it because you care, & so I must
abandon you as I have so many—not all at once but
by degrees, detaching until we barely speak, from all
of you, my dears, my brilliant, my hysterical friends,
I want what I want, & yours is the wrong kind, I am
meant to be this thing of locust yearning & all that
makes me me is that I can’t—I won’t—how can I
say it, fool that I am, how can I make you understand?
Because I have your love I have nothing.