Allergic: White Spot

A poem


The waitress hands me bulky binder

Pages upon pages of product

Big black dots for

·   dairy

·   soy

·   egg

·   corn

·   wheat

Salmon burger

·   no

Veggie patty

·   no

Even pie the stalwart standby

·   no

Resign myself

to onion rings without the secret sauce

and clam chowder

For me each laminated page slashed by a big


X marks the spot


I’m so sick of Allergy


What if I ask for the Braille menu?

Eyes closed, under my fingers palping greedily

raised dots for the things I cannot have —

chicken pot pie, milkshake in the galvanized tumbler, broccoli cheese soup —

Fingertips eating them up

I will open my eyes wide, so wide

look around me at what I can