Stay Off My Plate

Why is that every time I eat a salad,
granola with yogurt, banana chips
someone in the office comments on it?
Geez, you eat healthy, huh?

What if instead, I had ho-hos,
two gas station hot dogs, and instant coffee?
What would you say then?
Geez, you eat like shit, huh?

How about: stay off my plate,
unless you plan your comments equally.
Better yet, comment on your food
and let the office stand around to judge you.

We’ll hold a party and make a cake,
out of poorly chosen ingredients and life choices:
Diet Pepsi, gummy worms, divorce settlements,
Haagen Daas ice cream, laser scar removal, bacon bits.

We’ll make a banner with your name
and tack up action shots of you eating.
We’ll capture the office food smell in a jar
so that you can remember it in the unemployment line.

BRYCE BERKOWITZ is an MFA candidate at West Virginia University. He is the Editor-in-Chief at Cheat River Review. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2017, Ninth Letter, Hobart, Barrow Street, Third Coast, Passages North, The Pinch, Permafrost, Eleven Eleven, Tampa Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Laurel Review, The Fourth River, and other publications.