silent american orders hamburger


I went to the Haiti hotel where Graham Greene used to go all the time. There were these great murals. They had buckled but had not fallen in the quake.

We decided to grab lunch. A guy who knew the spot well told us all that the avocado clubs were the best.

I wanted a hamburger. I had been thinking about it all day– a big juicy one…with a lot of bacon.

I was there with about forty Americans sitting roughly in the middle of the temporarily joined tables.

One by one they ordered avocado club sandwiches.

Around the tenth person with their stupid avocado club, my inner monologue fraught with insecurity and heightened by my temporary famine starts wondering.

Do they know something I don’t know?

My mind skips to the murals. What would Diego Rivera do? What type of lunch would “the people” want me to devour?

Solidarity or personal desire?

My mind jerks to how cows buckle and fall when shot with air darts before slaughter.

Why was the life of the cow more poignant to people than the life of the avocado?

The waiter looks at me; I open my mouth and stutter my choice.

The American next to me orders the hamburger.



as i grasp my huge lunch and shove it into me,

and the quiet american eats his tiny slider,

i realize avocado greene is people.


may you buckle but not fall.





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