issue 32 poetry

Taco Bell is ≥ therapy

by  Nicole Tallman

One summer, I paid Taco Bell more than my therapist, and that is saying a lot. My therapist said to get up and do something when I couldn’t sleep. Ever live in a town so small that every sit-down restaurant closes at 10 p.m.? Ever get anxiety and go to Taco Bell just to have a stranger take your order at 3 a.m.? Ever cry at a Taco Bell drive-thru when asked: How are you doing tonight, Sweetheart? Ever wish Taco Bell sold alcohol? Ever wish you could live a little less? Ever drown your sorrows in a Spicy Bean Burrito? Ever buy that promotional plush Chihuahua you really didn’t need? Ever have your mother ask why you have so many unused packets of mild sauce in your cabinet? Ever have your therapist proudly tell you her son could eat a whole six-pack of tacos by himself? Ever wonder how that was relevant to the depression you were telling her about? Ever never see that therapist again? Ever wean yourself off Effexor and go to Taco Bell instead?

Nicole Tallman is the Poetry Ambassador for Miami-Dade County and Poetry Editor for The Blue Mountain Review. She is the author of Something Kindred and Poems for the People, and her next book, FERSACE, is forthcoming in November 2023. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @natallman and at