To The Woman Eating A Hostess Ho-Ho by John Grochalski

–after steve henn

first you torture me
with the shouting into your cellphone
and now this
what’s next? waterboarding?
truthfully i didn’t even know that ho-hos still existed
go me for studiously avoiding certain aisles at the grocery store
but back in my younger, more formative years
i tell you i could’ve eaten a box of ho-hos
i probably did at least once or twice
i could probably do it now
i haven’t been to a doctor in six years
so lord knows i don’t have the burden of
a diabetes or high cholesterol reading weighing me down
but i realize it wouldn’t be fair to my wife to indulge this way
not with the way i complain to her about my weight
asking her if i look fat in anything that i wear
like a thirteen year old girl
it’s a symptom of my youth
hey at least i stopped punching myself in the stomach decades ago
plus just this week i had my name included in a work email
of people who need “ extra big sizes”
for the free t-shirt the boys at corporate are giving out
outed like a goddamned government informant
so a box of ho-hos isn’t really
high on my list of priorities right now
though the wife says i’m on the list because i’m broad
what in the hell does “extra big size” mean anyway?
but if you ask me deep down i have to be honest
what i really want to do right now right here
on this evening subway ride home
is grab that delicious cylinder-shaped pastry
right out of your grubby hands
reclaim the ho-ho of my youth
find a corner of this train
crouch down like a ravenous rat
hissing and batting at people
while i devour that precious of all confections
getting the chocolate and cream all over me like some holy baptism
at least until pest control
or the police show up and taze me into a peaceful oblivion
where it’s grilled chicken and salads
and rational thought
all over again.

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.

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