South Campus Diner

1. It is soggy

And looks like cardboard

These thin slices in a circle, with

Cheese like burnt rubber.

It sits in pans with its withered toppings,

Trying to stay warm.

It’s tucked away past the pasta line

In the South Campus Dining Hall, trying to hide.

Oh, diner pizza.

2. It’s the end of the evening,

And my stomach is rumbling

And I need something to scarf down quickly.

But do I have to get the pizza?

A few slices linger, and I pick one up —

Instantly, there are crumbs on my fingers

And a smell of pizza dough.

Oh, diner pizza.

3. A friend once pointed out

That sometimes leftover diner meals

Become diner pizza toppings.

Example: buffalo chicken pizza.

Oh, diner pizza.

4. Help me understand

Why no matter how hard I try

To dress up diner pizza,

I’m still left unsatisfied,

Tummy rumbling,

Craving a heartier slice.

Oh, diner pizza.

5. On a few Friday afternoons last semester,

I was feeling particularly free

Because I had the gem of the South Campus Dining Hall on my tray:

Deep-dish pizza.

The crust is heavenly, strong,

Dig-your-teeth-in mouthwatering.

The sauce is impeccable.

The cheese: stringy and delicious.

The morals of diner pizza are as follows:

Expect the unexpected and take nothing for granted.

Oh, diner pizza.

This piece is part of the diversions section’s Friday package on College Park’s best pizza.