The assembly line at fastfood chains
always feature
a poignant fryer behind the cashier.

I salivate and think about the carbs.
Are we going to be fine? I asked the wife
and gripped her hands.

The cashier asked the right questions
with the right timing, so that the tray
had everything supersized.

The hand dryer malfunctioned and the hand soap smelled
like fromunda cheese.
We were obliged to close our eyes

and diverted our attention from the oil and lard.
So we talked about our latest book haul
and built a house on a lot from ten years ago

while I skimmed pages
of Kostenbaum's Best-selling Jewish Porn Films--
actually a collection of poetry.

We tried to recall more fastfood chains
while she handed me more ketchup packets.
Then we lapsed in this stupor

of having eaten too much.
There is that sound from shaking an iced tea when it's all ice
and water, that chugging

when drinking from straw
like a fried engine or the tail end
of conversations

So we made fun of kids eating french fries instead

which end up to be another poignant feature
especially when they cough in their high chairs.