Hot Dog Eating Contest, New York, 1997

by Felix Jung

How all-American, this eating just
for thrill, a feast with no occasion.

Any sort of open space we see
becomes a place that must be filled.

On vision quests, the seeker goes
for days without, receiving dreams instead.

In darkened movie halls, the screen
is always blank at first, and at the end.

When cartoon lollipops and drinks suggest
concession, a few of us concede.

The posters during wars depict our enemies
as fat, while we are thin and strong.

The starving and the satiated share a song:
they clutch their bloated stomachs, saying No,

no more. I can’t go on.

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