The Poems

Essential

From the Winter, 2019–2020, issue 

(No. 44)

I used to drive to D.A.D.’S Bagels

and eat Indian food at 4 a.m.

O.K., that’s not true.

That would have been insane.

But it was essential

that I could.

They sold Jewish bagels

and freezer-burned Indian food

so spicy, I always

regretted eating it.

Open twenty-hour hours a day:

5732 Sherbrooke Street West.

The cashier often threw in

free onion bhaji so hot

they’d keep my hands warm

on the walk back to the car.

D.A.D.’S Bagels is a now a Dollarama

with birthday decorations near the cash

and a hamburger joint

that’s becoming beloved.

I never went to D.A.D.’S Bagels

to eat Indian food at 4 a.m.

but it was essential

that I could.

Joshua Levy has published work in the Malahat Review, Maisonneuve, the Puritan, and the Feathertale Review. He was CBC's 2018 writer-in-residence, and a winner of the CBC Nonfiction Prize and th Carte Blanche/CNFC Creative Nonfiction Prize. His debut poetry collection, The Loudest Thing, was published in 2019. Last updated winter, 2019–2020.
Next in this issue