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.