If you drive down route 235,
the lonely parallel line of route 5,
running through St. Mary's County, Maryland,
between the intersection of Old Three Notch road
and St. Andrew's Church road,
and the liquor store at the corner of Mattapany--
you must do so with a fat wallet,
and a growling stomach,
who barks at the flashing signs
of the sparkling chain restaurants--
wafting their familiar scents out the windows
and onto the busy street.
Utterly beleaguered every which way by these olfactory factories,
your mouth waters and your wallet lightens
as the tantalizing sensations
permeate your vehicle.
So you cave;
another lost soul vacates the street at Restaurant Alley,
under the prowling searchlights
and the intoxicating smells lingering like a dense fog;
You linger in your purgatory with glee.
You exit satisfied, patting your abdominous belly
and lifting your smiling face to the sky
in thanks to the gluttonous gods
who rain down these chain restaurants
from the heavens.
A satisfied sigh seeps out of loose lips,
barely hanging on to your fleshy face,
so ruddy and fat.
You act like your stop was something novel,
like it wasn't routine to acquiesce to these temptations;
you return to your car to continue your roamings
down restaurant alley.
Sadly, a full stomach won't stifle a querying nose,
and your senses are soon at it again;
just as the waiters and waitresses,
cooks and busboys--
are back at the window, leaning outside
with their clamorings and bustlings and cookings--
You pretend to entertain willpower as your copilot,
but even if that were so,
your senses would still be at the wheel,
with your mind bound and gagged in the trunk.
Restaurant Alley goes on for miles and miles and miles,
seemingly endless in the permeating fog of
burgers and pancakes and pasta and chicken and fries and burgers and soda and ice cream and beer and pasta and wine and America and pancakes and steak and appetizers and desserts and entrees and specials and kids menus and burgers and chicken and pasta and fries and burgers and ice cream and salad and burgers and soda and eat and eat and eat and eat and eat!
There's nothing to eat;
there's nothing to do but eat in Restaurant Alley,
on route 235 in St. Mary's County, Maryland.
So fasten your seat belt,
and loosen your waist belt,
and take a doomed trip down the endless roadway--
where you are dragged, shackled to food chains
that haul you from the perdition that is the lobby's waiting room
to be seated with loved ones at the mercy seat of Ambrosia.
And you'll see me there, too.