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.