Fried Bologna Sandwiches

I won’t have it any other way.
Cold? No!
Between two unfeeling pieces of bread,
Stuck in mayo like tires stuck in mud,
Smeared onto mustard.
Daddy rolls it like a taco shell
And eats it raw, naked.
I like the thicker slices of it
Beneath a low blue flame.
In the days before toaster ovens,
The invention of microwaves,
My bologna was boiled.
Would watch it shuffle around
In the pot of hot water Ma cooked corn, peas,
Condensed Campbell’s soup in.
Adored the way it bubbled up into a dome-like shape
When done.
Down at Tillie’s House, she used to fry hers,
It tastes betta that way.
Take out whole minutes of my life
To prepare the perfect sandwich:
Slivers of tomatoes picked from Chickenman’s garden,
Cheese, sheets of lettuce surrender
As mechanically separated chicken pork
Sizzles in Corning Cookware.
Sodium phosphates rise from the red ring.
Calories? Total grams of fat? Who cares about that?
I haven’t eaten all day.
Midday, lunchtime,
Two on a sandwich plate.
Cup fulla soda, Coca-Cola.
Bite thru, take a taste;
Now this what I call good eatin’.

Written by Shane Allison
Artwork by Jared Small

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