DONUT SHOP PANTOUM
“It’s a sad day,” the counter girl says, “we’re all out.”
But even on National Donut Day it don’t matter to me; sticky
sweet goes down like a jagged pill without water. The orange
of this place—Golden Gate Bridge, persimmon—a pigment
of anguish. A national holiday? I’m here only to rhyme dough
with Rimbaud, to be alone with Mrs. Butterworth & styrofoam.
The cash-only sign’s color is that of Carrot Top, Mario Batali’s Crocs.
I never read The Odyssey, but I think I get the gist
as I swim alone in a sea of styrofoam & high-fructose corn syrup.
In this Indiana trash town, I watch coffee drip from delicate
instruments, thinking of Homer Simpson with a fluorescent lyre
& deep-fried, glazed hole of d’oh! yelling O small,
tortured town, you are the apricot-stuff of poetry—machinery-gunk
color like circus peanuts, bad spray tans, prescription bottles.
Empty trays of glazed O’s behind her, she goes for the jugular:
“It’s a sad day,” the counter girl says to a regular, “we’re all out.”
ABOUT THE POET
Natalie Louise Tombasco is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Florida State University and serves as the assistant interviews editor of the Southeast Review. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Butler University and grew up in Staten Island, NY. Her poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, Antioch Review, Southwest Review, Sonora Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Meridian, Salt Hill, Third Coast, The Rumpus, and The Boiler, among others. She was a runner-up in The 2019 Pinch Literary Awards in Poetry.
ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.