April 28: From State Fair Suite by Terry Kirts
From State Fair Suite
Main Street Saints
The woman who “blooms” onions does not cry
when the fumes fog the prep tent. Ten minutes
for an ear of corn and a smoke before she’s back
to work at her plunger. Each downward thrust
of her tanned forearms turns a Texas Sweet
into a stargazer lily. Men in visors and tams
lean over ribeyes and coils of bleeding sausage,
their blunt fists mottled with scars from the griddle.
Blonde teenagers in soaked t-shirts scoop pork rinds
into gallon bags. Above a fryer full of Moon Pies,
Colossians 1:13 reminds: “He has rescued us
from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom.”
May there be lemon shake-ups in heaven.
May cotton candy be our manna.
May the Lord, in his infinite kindness,
lift the potato sacks from these shoulders,
anoint the dry knobs of these well-traveled knees.
May our blood be as golden as this oil,
our bodies buoyant with yeast, and gleaming.
This Corn Dog
This corn dog does not occur in nature.
This corn dog counts for two meats and one grain.
This corn dog is not a falafel or a veggie kabob.
This corn dog was still crunchy after an hour in the rain.
This corn dog is the Lusitania, un-sunk, impervious to U-boats and icebergs.
All aboard the S.S. Corndog with stops in Frankfurt, Veracruz, and San Antone!
This corn dog is cornerback, center, and tight end.
This corn dog leans right but votes independent.
This corn dog lifts skirts, pats bottoms, and belches in church.
This corn dog is “Old Hundredth” played on the loudest ranks.
This corn dog absconds with the evidence. Those fingerprints are yours.
This corn dog could be the last thing I ever eat.
—Terry Kirts (Marion County)
Terry Kirts is the author of To the Refrigerator Gods (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010). His work has appeared in many journals, including Gastronomica, Crab Orchard Review, and Sycamore Review, and in the anthology Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians. He teaches creative writing at IUPUI and reviews restaurants for Indianapolis Monthly.