Writing a Love Poem at Taco Bell About

Sep 1, 2023 | 2023 Fall - Bi+ Joy, Poetry

By Michaela Mayer

how your smile is backlit
with the radiance of the purple
now hiring sign, no wage
advertised, and how you tell me
write something different
as you bite into the golden shell
of your chalupa—you’re poor
and i teach, so we’re eating
here today. how you sit back
against the plastic seat as you
talk, one hand entangled
with your hair. the angular
bend of your arm. you say,
if i were an editor i’d want
something new, a bump of writing
that doesn’t center trauma,
and i nod, but i think of the story
you read for me this afternoon
about how moderation breaks
its laborers and wonder
about our appetite for pain.
you begin to speak about your
panic attacks and suddenly
i’m grateful that you’re here
where i can hold your hand as if
to fend off any shaking,
the way i held your body against
mine as you cried on our first
date. i say, i’ll write a love poem.
yes, you affirm. yes, i think
they’d like that.

Michaela Mayer is a 27-year-old poet and educator living in North Carolina. She has a chapbook out with Fahmidan Publishing & Co., a gorgeous cat named Sappho, and can be found on Twitter @mswannmayer5.

Note: This poem first appeared in The Passionfruit Review.

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