How You See Depends on Where You Go

If you were a hot dog…

How You See Depends on Where You Go                                     Jynne Dilling Martin


If I were a hot dog, no way would I want to hang around

all week in the boiling water of a metal hot dog cart.


The dark would make me claustrophobic, the smell

must be pungent, and though we’d all pretend to be friends,


each time the sky split open and the aluminum tongs

came down everyone would hustle hoping to be chosen


and then be so pissed afterwards about life’s randomness

and inequality, since the dog selected would totally suck.


With nothing else to go on, we’d idiotically think

hot dogs were the only food and our cart the only cart


and our vendor the one who invented the light and dark.

We’d carve a fresco of our cart’s history on the metal


using a rusted knife that had fallen into our water.

We’d be such a joke to the ketchup and the mustard!


No, I’d rather be an eight-pack dog in the refrigeration aisle

of a grocery store, and not just anywhere in that pack,


but one of the four on bottom with a transparent plastic view

of the suburban shoppers. Then I could scan all the people


and feel quietly superior to the ugly and unhappy ones,

knowing my snug life at least is better than that.



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