loving the dollar menu | Tyler Engström

You tell me your interests and I tell you mine or at least we discover them in profile, you love your dog and are just here to have fun, which is perfect because I can hide my crippling desire to be loved for just long enough to pass as wanting fun, too. You are into “the outdoors” and if you had one wish you would cure cancer, but you are a gym teacher and I am already in love with the beauty of noble ignorance. I offer to pick you up at 7:30 but you ask if an afternoon date is ok, you have other plans. Of course it is, I say, and I pick you up at 1:30. We play pickleball, the sound of the wind rushing through the ball reminds me of you. Even though I don’t know you I am already falling out of love with your memory. I take you to McDonalds for an early dollar-menu dinner because I heard the smiles are free, some jokes age like we do, others too. The kid behind the counter isn’t smiling. At this point, no one is.


🍟 Tyler Engström's first full-length collection of poetry, Think of How Old We Could Get, is forthcoming from Frontenac House in Fall 2021. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, and if you live there you're a cowboy, so he's a cowboy. Yeehaw.