Two Poems—"Fried Egg" and "Two (2) Slices of Baloney"

Mercury-Marvin Sunderland

The Evergreen State College

Fried Egg

fried egg
sticks to the pan
i haven’t added enough butter but
no amount
this dryness

i have been asking you
to leave me alone
for two years now
and yet
you still
won’t stop bothering me

the spatula scrapes
against egg clinging to a pan
burning crisps
and undercooked egg whites

i told you
that i was in the greatest grief
i told you
that two of my good friends
had killed themselves recently
and that one of my closest friends
had died two weeks before my birthday
that summer

popped yolk
fills the pan
burns in that way
that just isn’t right
and this kitchen is filled
with that
egg smell

it took you
only two (2) weeks
for you to go back
to asking me to fuck

after i told you
that i was going through too much

the dollar store bacon
didn’t give enough grease
and burned in
an unappetizing way

i don’t want
to have sex
with you

and i’ve been telling you that
for years

i don’t want
to be your boyfriend

and i’ve been telling you that
for years

i don’t want
to be your friend

and i’ve been telling you that
for years

i don’t want
you to talk to me

and i’ve been telling you that
for years

the butter
is running out
and can’t buy
any more

treating me like a friend
whenever you see me on campus
when i have told you
so many times
that i just want you to leave me alone

i clean the
charred pan
and i scrape
with the abrasive side
of the kitchen sponge

i considered
a restraining order
and i’m still
thinking about it

but it’s not like
you would respect that anyway

this egg
is disgusting
and undercooked
and charred
and it scraped out of the pan
so badly

fuck off

that’s all i want you to do

just fuck off

and leave me alone

Two (2) Slices of Baloney

two (2) slices of bread
two (2) slices of that disgusting plastic cheese
two (2) slices of baloney
six (6) pickle slices

i’m eating a
struggle breakfast
yet again

i eat this meal
in front of the tv again
this time i’m binging
regular show

which i like for many reasons
but one of them being
that it’s a cartoon about
what it’s like to be in your twenties
working at a job you don’t want
never having gone to college

dollar store bread
breaks easily in your hands

i’m a college student
working a volunteer job
i’ve gotten tired
of the processed chemicals
i can feel hurting my tongue

they say that college
makes you a radical
but it’s poverty
that does

and yeah
i was raised
in a very privileged
middle class white household
in seattle

so i can’t say
i grew up in this
but growing up transgender
in a country
that doesn’t see healthcare as a human right
charges thousands of dollars
and works every ounce it’s got
to prevent me
from getting what i need

i have worked
two (2) minimum wage jobs
to try to raise
over seven thousand (7,000+)

and i still feel guilty
every time
i buy groceries

from the dollar store
and grocery outlet

because all that top surgery money
keeps going down the drain

and i know that
i’ve only got four quarters left until i graduate
and then i can work slave wages
until i get my healthcare

this isn’t freedom
i shouldn’t have to
subject myself to
the capitalist hell
just to get
what should’ve been already covered as a basic human right

baloney sandwich
is satisfying
but i needed
to save
that money

for that surgery
i need
which keeps throwing itself
years and years
out of my reach

this sandwich
tastes like


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