My Favorite Menu, Minus the Food

Every menu comes with a handshake and a history lesson.

Love has not been a credible threat.
Take back your yawn and these abandoned

Janus words. I don’t mind a bit of rude
humor, if the weather is warm enough.

My go-to demand is cake, but I would still
read an oral history on the three-ball massager.

Too many things are for children and drunks. 
Chocolate before bed isn’t right for either.

Who doesn’t love a whimsical thing
like the casual loudness of beauty.

There is no limit to what the poem can hold,
only limits to your submissiveness.

I’m just a boy, charmed by oh so boyish
things like a windy scooter ride—an atomically

small taste of evolutionary thrill-seeking.
What is one to do in a land with no mammoths

and saber-tooths? (Besides be black, of course).
They say the dough can sense fear, anchoring

it’s Lazarus act of levitation. I believe
your interior strawberry needs more attention,

but I never finished med school. The South
will make you fat and happy then try to kill you.

She kept the boyfriend jeans, but ditched
the boyfriend. Other items remained:

beaded curtains, a chilled glass from a local dive,
a treatise on the palimpsest, and a broken black

and white camera. Her life had become
a real cathedral to kitsch.

You don’t write about me, she said.
They made love we made salad.

What lead you here? Everyone left
and I just didn’t follow.

Are you talking about Phillip Larkin?
No, childhood

Jalen Eutsey is a poet, librarian, and freelance sportswriter from Miami, Florida. He earned a BA from the University of Miami and an MFA in Poetry from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He teaches creative writing to teens and young adults as part of the Writers in Baltimore Schools and Baltimore Youth Film Arts programs. His work has been published in Nashville Review, storySouth, Harpur Palate, Into the Void, and others.