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Chain Restaurants, Reviewed by Poems: Culver’s photo

We’ve never lived in Culver’s territory and it still doesn’t

feel like we do. I mean, it’s at 33rd and Iowa and our place
is at 9th and Indiana. That’s like a 15-minute drive.

In Ohio we drove 15 minutes for groceries and 45
for work but here we only drive that long

if we have to. Tonight we have to
have custard and Kara has to have the baby

stop kicking her bladder for like ten minutes at least
and Culver’s has to stop putting calorie counts

on their menu. Jesus. The custard is fine, the mint
tastes synthetic and the strawberry tastes like an alien

spent years studying the concept of “strawberry”
and longer trying to replicate it. If you go to Culver’s

for crying out loud just get a Butterburger and curds.
The cashier tells another customer all our burgers

are Butterburgers, so. Is that a Midwest thing?
The trailing so? Tonight when I do get home I’ll learn

that there actually are Culver’s in Ohio. 10 of them,
with an 11th coming soon in Avon, so

a 15-minute drive from our old place. The northernmost 
Waffle House is in Toledo. There are no regions left—

someday  New Jersey will sprout In-N-Outs. Someday 
we’ll pop into a Mississippi Tim Horton’s. Tonight

we just hold hands into the year’s first warm evening,
across a soft pretzel sidewalk that could be anywhere else.



Address: 2111 W 33rd Street, Lawrence, KS 66046.
Eaten: 1 mini concrete mixer with mint and Oreo, 1 scoop of flavor of the day (Double Strawberry) in a cone ($6.08)
With: Kara
Why: Valentine’s Day, after dinner. The Salvation Army bummed us out but we weren’t ready to go home.