government cheese

i remember
standing in line
for the long
gray cardboard
box of
government cheese
and the weekly
ration of
powdered milk

i was a kid
the circumstances
meant nothing
but the promise
of the best
grilled cheese
in the world
put a smile on
my little face

we had a slicer
a long wire
and a plastic
roller that sloppily
cut slabs of
the golden brick

some nights
i cannot shake
the craving
for those perfect
grilled squares
cut in right
triangles with
an ooze of melted
cheese stretched
between and a
small pile of
salty rippled
chips between

instead i sit
the back of
my throat
swollen with
unbidden sobs
unceasing as
the clouds
the rain that
never quite
to fucking

dragging my feet
chasing the dreams
i can’t bear
to see turn to
ashes as soon as
my fingers brush
gently along them
the same as
every other
fool’s errand i
have pursued up
to this point of

same stupid smile
no longer quite
reaching hazel malaise
daydreaming about
the handouts
that once nourished
my worthless soul

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