Fastfood workers

they burst from the paper bag
running like salt from a shaker
scattering flecks of taste

they gush like soft-drink
push the button, they gurgle and froth
with youthful bubbles over the rim

they burn and sear like burger patties
on the grill, hot anger spits
from their mouths as they yell

they ooze like ice-cream
filling every corner, every gap
compact with cold determination

they have sizzled in the fat
crisp as you like, now they’re
blocking arteries in the street.


Used in the Level 2 NCEA English Exam, 2010.


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