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Chain Restaurants, Reviewed by Poems: Chili’s photo

Along the way, I encounter what I consider to be the real enemy, the thing to be feared, marginalized, and kept at a distance at all costs. If ever there was a vision of evil, look at […] millions of them spreading all across America like herpes. 
–Anthony Bourdain, on Chili’s

My whole life I’ve been jealous
when other tables get plates that sizzle
but look at me now, with a margarita
in a little pitcher thing, shaken

25 times on the way to the table.
They even left the pitcher thing here. Why
we went out with a baby in a growth spurt
is a product of fatigue, as is my order—

a plate of very salty things forcing
cuts in my mouth I didn’t know I had
to sting. It makes me confused 
about whether I’m hungry or not, like a baby

in a growth spurt. Kara drops
a piece of lettuce onto the baby’s ear.
He doesn’t notice; she soon gives up
on the salad. She says it’s unrelated.  

None of our food sizzles at any point. 
I’m not even sure what to order
to get something that sizzles. Perhaps
the Quesadilla Explosion Salad?

Tony said he’d take a crowbar to Chili’s.
I’m forced to pay on something
called a zee-osk, which is filthy
and makes me take a survey.

In the comments section, 
it’s all I can do not to write
I don’t think I’ll bring my baby back
to this restaurant any more. 


Where: Chilis, 2319 Iowa St. Lawrence, KS 66049
Who: The poet, the baby, and Kara
What: 1 Presidente Margarita, 1 Grilled Chicken Salad, 1 Smokehouse combo (chicken & sausage). $46.38.
Seems like a lot, right?
Why: Oh man, we just had to get out of the house. Someone said Chili’s, someone else agreed.