Allison Joseph

Issue #
September 27, 2015

Self-Portrait as Ice Cream Truck

Always welcome, I glide through your
neighborhood, one repeating tune
on an endless loop to seduce
the smallest and eldest out
of barricaded homes and into

the streets, crying as if the
Messiah’s come. Loyal to all
my flavors–you cannot–do not–
resist me, knowing all it takes
is a pocketful of change

to the man inside me to get
what I have to give: frozen
sugar on a stick, chocolate
frosted into submission,
sandwiches you nibble and lick

as if you’ll never be granted
another, glorious soft-serve
squeezed into spirals and curls.
I am here to make you lose
your minds, make you forget

your diet and your last name,
every cell in your timid body
ready to shove a six-year-old
should she dare cut in front.
Cold as they come, I got you

on lock, silver body stealthy
on these ordinary streets, sleek
machine full of rainbows and push-ups,
strawberry shortcake and bomb-poms.
Should you try to resist me,

if you stay silent while everyone
clamors for my sweet tastes,
I’ll make sure my music
never leaves your brain,
endless loop stunning you from sleep.

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