Eating Out Alone
by Leland Jamieson


(In a bit of a hurry in a New York City hotel dining room,
on a business trip. Entrée: Pork Chops.)

Toe-pad of hog? So dry and tough! Complain?
Reorder? Take too long. How spit it out?
Forked in too much to chew. This is insane:

no napkins to spare. Chew . . . . Add sauerkraut?
No room for kraut. Put down the bare-tined fork!
Resolved: to chew the wad 'til I've no doubt

it is chomped up in tiny chunks of pork
and fiber, milled real fine in spit, that will
slide down my throat - not plug it up like cork.

Corralling, thus, the giant wad, I drill
an eye tooth through my upper lip. In shock
and pain I've spit some on the pepper mill!

Chagrined, I wipe it off. Look at the clock!
I feel a drool, and blot it, streaked with blood,
from lips and chin . . . . Do other diners gawk . . . ?


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