Modern Consumer

Minute rice, potato flakes,
instant pudding, quick oats,

powdered milk and iced tea.
Artificial vanilla, maple-

flavored syrup, cheese products
and juice beverages. Nothing

in her kitchen was quite itself,
all designed to peak almost before

they began, as if her shelves
were stocked with child stars –

the canned asparagus curtseying
just as it’d been taught, the packets

of onion dip holding the high notes
with flourish: the kinds of things

we consume and try to digest.
Cookbooks sat silent and dusty

in a corner – artifacts unknown
to this modern age, where who you are

has the mildest of bearings on
what you can pretend to be

with only the slightest effort.

Nov. 8, 2013

One of 30 poems in 30 days