Refritos Means Never Having to Say I’m Fried

I try to forget life is full of loss,
chest to knees in car floor carpet arithmetic,
to order a bean burrito with fire sauce.

As easy as $1.29, in a life cupholder-full of costs
Do you remember when five bucks bought us six?
I try to forget life is full of loss.

In drive-thru purgatory my amuse-bouche is car exhaust.
I hope you’re idling well, but my fuel tank empties quick
so I can eat a bean burrito with fire sauce.

That mix of refried beans, onions, & cheese gloss
toothpaste out a side seam where the wrapper sticks.
I try to forget life is full of loss,

like it has a slack wrapped tortilla across.
I want to tell you I’m awestruck like Louise Glück
as I eat a bean burrito with fire sauce.

I ball the paper take-out bag & give it a toss.
There’s no epiphany in this meal without you. I’m the prick
who can’t forget life is full of loss,
and I eat another bean burrito with fire sauce.


Peter H. Michaels always adds a bean burrito to his Taco Bell order. If you are in his car when he is ordering, then he will add a bean burrito to your order too. You don’t have to eat it, he just wants you to have it. Throw it away or give it back to him, after all one of his personal mottoes is that, “There’s always room for another bean burrito.” His poetry is forthcoming from or has appeared in Nimrod, The Operating System, Cagibi, and other places. He is a staff reader for The Adroit Journal. His website is peterhmichaels.com.

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