Brunch Poem Day 18 (mine).

New York Egg Cream

It doesn’t have eggs and it doesn’t
have cream. Once it was made
with siphon-poured seltzer—
that’s seltzer from a bottle
with a cold silver lever but today

club soda from the store will
surely suffice, though if you’ve
a neighbor with a siphon, rewind
& use hers. This drink was designed
by Jews of the Lower East Side

when they came and survived
with less space than an egg is allowed
in its carton. According to legend Fox’s
U-Bet is the wise syrup choice to account
for the chocolate. Have you ever enjoyed

one, this thickdrink with milk, perhaps
at night  with a friend or your father
in town? Have you sat at a diner and sipped
through a straw, striped  and too tall
for the glass? You may be in New York;

you may be way out west or in the midst
of a bend caused by  a film whose finish
is less than  an end. Your friend at your side
will surely misjudge what you request
from the waiter. An egg cream? But

it doesn’t have eggs and there’s no
trace of cream. Your companion is told
this but continues to dream of being stuck
in your carton: thin shell touched
with chocolate, thin shell of sweet milk.

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