Issue #3 // Love in the Fast Food Lane // April Penn

We’re sitting together at Burger King.
I’m unfolding the wrapper off a bagel I got across the street.
She’s chowing down on a Whopper
as I ask, “Did you eat a lot of fast food as a child?”
She laughs at me, a sudden dry noise almost like a word.
She spits out, “I used to live in a camper shellScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 3.12.36 AM
parked in a McDonald’s parking lot.
I’m pretty sure the first solid thing I ate was fast food.”

I let the realization sink in.
I’m dating her.
I love her,
even the way she crinkles the Burger King wrapper
or points at herself when talking about carnivores.
I feel strangely tied to being American.
I turn to her face for support.
Her soul has the loveliest concrete and ball pits,
flip flops and patch-work blankets stained with grease.

April Penn participates in the 365 Blog, a challenge to write a poem every day for a year. She has featured at the Cantab Poetry Lounge, Out of the Blue Gallery, Occupy Boston and UMASS Amherst. She is currently working on a manuscript of poems about gender identity. Check out her blog: or email her at


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