In Place (Draft 5)

I sell hamburgers at the seashore,
waiting for a Patricia I adore, but I swear
I don’t sell cockles or mussels alive or dead
and that said, I’ve never met Molly Malone alone
for a date or for a fig or anything

I wait with the meats of my trade while
many people of Germany have come to see me
come to see how pickle relish is relished, and
when I ask them where they’re from
I’m puzzled by their proud encomiums:

“I am a Hamburger.”
“I am a Frankfurter.”

Even for Americans sometimes
there are odd answers besides ‘I am
a New Yorker’ :

“I’m an Atlantian”

I always thought that
Atlantis was fictional
or at the bottom of the ocean, though
Patricia’s been gone so long
I’m beginning to think She is fictional

Sadly, I have tried to
get into the spirit of things
so I

proudly announced to a German speaker
“I am a pizza,” but that got a look of huh

“Well, that’s odd, but in German
your President John F. Kennedy said
he was a jelly donut.”


“JFK proudly announced
Ich bin ein Berliner


“A Berliner is what you call
a jelly doughnut, and
I am a Hamburger.”

Oh I see, I had said to him,
the time is late, (and I made a ‘go away’):
Molly Malone is waiting for me
under the sea in Atlantis you see, but

truly I love Patricia, my patrician
and she’s in the cockles of my heart.