It’s like the “I Love Lucy” episode,
the one where she works in the chocolate factory,
but instead of chocolates I’m watching golden
flour-dusted potato rolls go by.
Instead of a frilly apron and big white hat
like the one Lucy wears, I have my waist length
hair tucked up into a fluorescent orange hard hat
and I’m wearing a white sweat drenched t-shirt,
jeans that haven’t been washed all week, and scuffed
brown leather boots.
I watch the rolls in groups of twelve—two rows of
six side by side. Like a part of the machine,
I take away extras and throw them
into a white plastic basket and when there aren’t
enough I take rolls out of the basket
and throw them back on the conveyor belt.
I squint, and see some rolls with black and white
machine grease splattered on them.
The manager says it is completely
edible, but no one wants to eat a roll that looks spattered
with pigeon poop.
Sometimes I grab an extra roll and hold it under my
hand, when no one is looking I rip off the top
and let the soft bread dissolve on my tongue.
I wish it were like “I Love Lucy”,
I would fail miserably, shoving rolls
down my shirt and into my mouth.
Everyone would laugh, and the show
would be over.