Pop’s Italian Beef

My boyfriend orders a gyro from Pop’s
Italian Beef, and since I don’t kill him,
I know I love him. He’s secured a spot
in my life and has surpassed judgment.
He’s ascended to Godhood, and I can’t

help but smile while he pours his Pepsi.
Or when he takes his first bite. The gyro
is good. Well cooked, lots of tzatziki,
tomatoes, and onion. I’m happy to take
my own bite—relish in the difference—
and appreciate variety. But you can’t
order a gyro from Pop’s. No. You order
the baby beef with a large fry and drink.
You get your sandwich “dry”with au
juice on the side so your bread doesn’t
get soggy on its own. (It’s best dipped.)

I forgive him since he’s new. The Pop’s
giant menu got the best of him, and really,
who doesn’t want to try something else?
Hot dogs, sausages, corned beef, rib-eye
steak sandwich, (single, double, or triple)
burger, shrimp dinner, chicken tenders.

Almost every time I go, I say “maybe next
time I’ll try something else,” fully aware
I never will. The name is Pop’s Italian Beef.
Sure, if you look closely it says Pop’s Italian
Beef (and Sausage). So ordering sausage,
I guess, wouldn’t technically be wrong.
But the sausage seems like an afterthought.
Something thrown in to say “we branch
out, promise! We can fulfill all your needs!”
The sausage isn’t really there to be ordered.

I watch as strangers stand at the counter,
faces scrunched in wonder. Eyes squinted
to read the fine print. They’re heads scroll
like fingers on Twitter, and I need to stop
staring. I feel connected. Like I’m a part
of this process, or at least, maybe I should
be. I want to go to the counter and help
place their orders. And if they don’t listen,

I’ll reach my hand out and tell them I hope
someone back at home will still love them.

Sam Frost is a writer who spends too much time and money drinking kombucha and is always craving fast food breakfast. Find more work at The Hellebore, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Floodlight Poetry, and elsewhere. Find her on Twitter @sammfrostt.

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