I look out of the window
At the icicles, the hot dog vendor and the one beggar
Amassing coins. I look at the winter-colors
All a ghostly white, remembering the vibrant summer time
In Sri Lanka, my country of birth.
The roof appears to be sinking all of a sudden,
The walls come closer, asphyxiating me.
The sole window, my only opening to huff in
A little source of a diatomic gas
From a world that has cloistered me.
And my eyes grow out like mycelia
Of a parasitic fungus, scavenging every minor detail
Of a New York street. It is so freaking cold
I could feel permafrost building up
Underneath my skin. All I could see is a little
Hot dog being served with a mustard topping,
To a lonely scarfed man, walking alone
On a sparsely-crowded NY street.
And I remember how in Australia
They talk about a ‘three dogs night’.
How a man needs three dogs to keep him
From frosting to a cold outback night.
And I look at the garnished hot dog
Streaked with mustard, longing to bite
In to the sausage and bun, to give some heat to
My gastrointestinal tract, or light a little fire inside
My freezing inner-sanctum.
Its amazes me that a little American tradition
Was accidentally coined by a cartoonist
Who just couldn’t spell Dachshund.
The first hot dog it seems, saw its day,
In a simple cartoon column. Perhaps rightfully
It was a common man with poor spelling that made
The hot dog what it is today.
A proud all-American tradition,
Of the sheer portability of freedom,
Ushering the blissful simplicity of taste.