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Like a potbellied sandwich

Found in a neighborhood sandwich shop

I’m hot and gooey


Filled with red and green hot peppers

I come with or without mustard

On wheat or white

Thinly or thickly sliced

Can I change the world?

The potbellied sandwich can!

He is a man with a plan.

Am I a found object?

The napkin dispenser claims to be so

Can I compete with recycled paper?

Or an antique airplane flying from the ceiling

Like my potbellied brother, I give off good vibes

I’m delicious and uptown

Like him, I was once a little guy

With a big dream

I can fill your head with music

And give you a rhythm to beat

I come with a “how-to” manual too

Slather lightly

Bake with care

Like the Mushroom Melt,

Or MLT, Multiple Lingual Theory

I can be made with warring white and red mushrooms

You can have extra stuff with me, too

A whole banana or a whole pickle on the side?

Shake me like a Boysenberry Smoothie

Malt me into a Dreamsickle Slushy 

Maybe I’m more like a Chickpea Veggie Salad 

With blue-cheese and a hard-boiled egg 

Maybe I like Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette 

Instead of Potbelly Vinaigrette

I can be low fat, with 25% less calories 

Or I prefer to be fully fatty

Loaded with mayo

Like a homemade oatmeal cookie 

Or a root beer float,

I’m decadent

I’m not your 200-calorie brother, sister 

I’m 2,500 calories of guts and glory

Like a potbellied sandwich, I’m toasty and warm

Hand-dip me

Let a nice young couple do it 

They’re gentle

I’m never dull

I’m slowly moving, but fast-paced

Even though I began as a lark, I can bolster;

Holster you to my side

Like the potbellied sandwich,

I’m a stroke of genius

I’m full-fledged and totally unique

Bring me into your city

And I’ll give you a little bit of my magic

I began on Lincoln Avenue

But I am beyond local

I am totally global

I am tastier, crunchier, and more Creole

I am custom designed,

A Designer student

Elite and still discrete

Zappo, Snap, Bap

Really, I don’t think I’ll ever be elevated to the status of a potbelly sandwich 

Because I’m just a PhD student

And I’m just trying to eat this messy potbelly sandwich during my hour lunch break 

Maybe one day I’ll be a Rod Ellis

Or Spado

Or I’ll look like a famous French linguist

Now they are originals

But for now, I’m just a glorified PhD student

I’m stuffed.