The Usual

The Usual


To hear an AudioBoo reading of this delicious poem about temptation by the writer, go to




by Chris Kuhn


I already ordered. Selected my usual dish.

It soothes and delights, and I’m accustomed to it.

It often satisfies many of my cravings and needs.

And while it may not sate them all, it aims to please.


Yet this delectable plate has been served to my table.

Why? I did not order it. I have no need for it.

My plate is full, my selection made, my meal already started.

Yet despite all this, why does that dish entice me so?


I see among its display many of my favorite ingredients.

I have many of those in my usual dish, yet something intrigues.

Alluring and savory, my imagination is captivated.

Once upon a time, I felt that same zest for my usual dish.


Yet I know there is no hope to taste, no chance to indulge.

After all, I’ve already ordered and clearly this dish is another’s.

That doesn’t stop my mind from wondering and wandering away

To another space where I might have placed that order and devoured.


Closing my eyes, I can picture the dish that on any other day

Would be precisely a vision I would embrace, a taste I would long for.

In any other place, I wouldn’t think twice about accepting

Forget asking questions, and simply let the meal happen.


Is it possible that it may have become my usual dish? Could it be

That perhaps this dish would be the one I would savor most if only…

If only. That is the phrase I will keep close to me as I watch

From a distance, and admire as the dish is returned to its rightful place.


For a split second, I could wonder. I could dream what that would be like

To delight in the senses and experience a new dish to savor,

Let my nose and tongue wrap itself around new aromas, textures and flavors

And yet here I sit on the other side of the table,

Peering down at the usual

And wondering.


Not miserable. Not sad. Not empty.

But wanting. And wondering. And hungry.



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