I want Nutella with an unbroken seal.
I want Ben and Jerry’s.
I want American cream and sugar, and I want it frozen, and I want to eat it all.
I won’t even feel guilty.
I want canned pasta sauce so fake it lasts for years in the cupboard, so that no matter how far it has traveled,
Or whether or not it was refrigerated on the way,
The only harmful thing I’ll ingest from it is chemicals.
Pasta that’s been sealed in plastic, and then in a box,
Pasta so fake it might as well be cardboard
And I want to boil the water for three hours before cooking it
I want mac and cheese.
I WANT EASY MAC.
I want plastic orange genetic modification,
And I want oreos
So fake they’re vegan
Vacuum-sealed for decades
no lard, no nothing
just scientific lord-knows-what.
I want a Nutella crepe with chopped hazelnuts on it
From some exotic street food cart
In some exotic foreign country
Some eeeeeeasy country.
Some eeeeeeeeasy country to travel that is as daring
As the stucco exterior of a Rubio’s Mexican Grill
In suburban San Diego
I want no more pepto bismol
And no more balcony retching
No more wondering if I’m hungry
Or, if I eat,
If I’ll just puke again.
I want to eat the breakfast buffet
And trust that my stomach will destroy it
Breaking down whatever egg/bread/meat combo I throw at it
Digesting anything, fearlessly
Like the garbage disposal I once knew it to be.
I want to go back to believing
My stomach was invincible
When I could eat a cupcake with a hair on it
From a hole-in-the-wall in Cuba
Handed to me with bare fingers
Without even considering hesitation or fear;
I want to drink the same water they use to clean the floor
And scoff, correctly, when someone says
“you’re going to feel that tomorrow”;
I want to eat the chicken intestines
Or the pig’s ear
From the stand in the Philippines;
I want to slurp the bone marrow and yesterday’s unrefrigerated meat;
I want to accept what the villagers make for me
And I don’t want to be a little bitch about it.
I want to eat the fresh vegetable salad in Lebanon
And brush my teeth with whatever damn tap water I please
For the rest of my life,
Never dreading the next couple hours.
I want to go back to the day
Before I found my limits
And I proved myself susceptible
Just like everybody else,
When I considered myself superior
To the delicate weaklings
Who felt ill when they traveled
And couldn’t dive into
Literally, whatever was in front of them.
I want to go back to yesterday
I want to go back to yesterday,
And not eat that fermented bean dish
And never think about fermented beans again.