None of That
A friend, a fellow poet, announces
that he will someday open a restaurant
called None of That, wanting customers
to say, Oh, I'll have none of that,
and by that, he means cheese.
What confidence! I see now,
only years later, it's acronym: NOT.
I am jealous of his utter disdain.
I am jealous of his unwavering voice.
What would I not serve,
what would I not allow on my menu?
All I can think is beets, but
who likes beets? They would not be
missed. No, I long to loathe
what others likely love
and to be okay with that loathing.
But I am poor at decisions.
Insouciance is an illusion.
I desire to deny others
based on my own predilections, the strength
of my convictions, whether right or wrong,
but I find myself lacking, full
of wishy-washy sympathy
that, though I don't much like--what?
what is it?--mint, trigger of my migraines,
I see how others might. I have seen
the thick tongue licking mint-chocolate-chip
from a cone, have heard talk of julep,
a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.
This friend will not stop. He claims
that his second restaurant will be called
None of That Either. He has more, more than
I can muster, and I try harder
to think of something, the thing. But all I want
to keep from others is what I most want for myself
because there might not be enough to go around.
About the author:
Anna Leahy's book Constituents of Matter won the Wick Poetry Prize, and her poems appear widely in journals and anthologies. She teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at Chapman University, where she directs the Tabula Poetica series and edits the journal TAB. Her essay in The Pinch was named a Notable in The Best American Essays 2013, and she co-writes Lofty Ambitions blog, which is located here.