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Eating a Cheeseburger During The End Times

written by: John Grochalski

@JohnGrochalski

 

the bar has
most of its televisions
turned to fox business channel

except for one playing
a Mets/Nationals game
from last year

the men in the bar
are watching the stock market crash

again and again

with as rapt attention
as they would ESPN

tomorrow the world is on lockdown

and this bar will be closed
like thousands of others

while we wait out the pandemic

but today is for eating a cheeseburger
during the end times

as men in the bar complain about the money
they’ll lose on the stock market

instead of maybe losing their health or their lives

men seem to worry
about the most trivial of things
in times of crisis

a week ago I was complaining about my job

yesterday I fought two people
for the last loaf of bread

and screamed to no one about the lack
of toilet paper and black beans

and who in the hell knows
if I’ll have a job to go back to

i probably should be indoors
reading books and hand sanitizing my soul

binge-watching a world
that now looks so foreign to me

but they make a damned good cheeseburger here

and it might be months, if ever,
before i get to have it again

the bartender, ross, is losing his job tomorrow
he just took a bath on his Disney stock an hour ago
and got a text that his fiancé lost her job right now

they were planning for a wedding in may

the unraveling is happening in real time
and there is nothing to do or say

but just sit here and wait on it

except for some guy in an FDNY t-shirt
who says…the flu killed more people yesterday

everyone laughs
and nods silently

they go back to watching
the stock market crash on tv

sucking up a trillion in government money

as I clear my second beer
and turn to the year old Mets/Nationals game

cheering when Juan Soto hit a double

a fool move for sure

but forgetting
forgetting all of this
if only for a moment.

John Grochalski

John Grochalski

John Grochalski is the author of the five poetry collections and two novels. Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.
John Grochalski

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