©2019 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Camouflage” by Hyung Jin Lee

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

Loss Tastes Like McDonald's

Patrick Wang

Autumn 2019

Loss lives life to the fullest, and he never stops—long walks on

the beach, bottles of Hennessy, frisky women—he’s seen it all.

Loss will take you out at his club Insomnia, feed you
tequila shots with lime wedges and make you dance till you

forget that you’re 50% alcohol and 50% regret. Sometimes

you might run into him at the spa, steaming his face with

the vapors of makeshift communities. He’ll ask you to
join, and when you do, your eyes will fog up with dreams in

languages made obsolete through forgetfulness or violence

or sometimes both. After one or two drinks, he’ll lean in for

the kiss. Funny—he still probably tastes like Big Macs and

hash browns from that new McDonald’s in your parents’

hometown two oceans away.

Loss speaks in forgotten tongues, wears cologne that cleaves the air

like a fading memory. Sometimes, he pulls the training wheels off

children’s bicycles—watches them fall—because why not? It’s fun. But

don’t you go thinking that Loss isn’t fair. He says that he

doesn’t discriminate against anyone. Young children, young

adults, old adults—no one escapes his company.

Loss is a master of seduction, likes to beckon at you with his finger.

Coax you into playing his game of show and tell. Show him a tragedy

and he’ll tell you that it never gets better. Then he’ll add your
tragedy to his bag. Another piece for his collection. At night,

Loss inspects the day’s haul—keys, v-cards, marbles (physical),
marbles (metaphorical), loved ones, memories of said loved ones, abandoned

Happy Meal toys—and puts them into neatly labeled boxes inscribed with

owners’ names. And yet, after a long day of work, whilst lying in
bed, Loss looks up at the ceiling and feels empty because, truth is,
Loss is a lonely guy. He’s had affairs with thousands of
people, but everyone always gets tired of his games; eventually

Time puts out the fires he starts.


Loss is tired of his monotonous job but
doesn’t know how to retire. If you look closely, in the corner
of his house, there is a small wooden box inscribed with his name.

He’s still too afraid to open it.

Patrick Wang is a rising senior at Northview High School. He is an avid writer and artist always dedicated to searching out new voices. He has attended the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop, been published by the American High School Poets, and excerpted in the New York Times. He is an avid defender of minority voices and his favorite television shows.