a poor appetite for options

sometimes when taking a shower
or staring out the window into the rain
i like to theorize about supply chain efficiencies
and how if covid taught us anything
surely it was that we do not really need
fifteen different flavors of hidden valley ranch dressing—
let alone the ten different flavors from kraft
and the thirty-seven others that stalk the store shelves.
we do not really need eleven shades of cheerios
or seven similar formulas of the same sort of sandwich bread
that all have identical nutrition facts;
we do not need five flavors of cheetos or pop-tarts that taste like “buttery” waffles
(or “buttery” waffles that taste like pop-tarts).
and don’t get me started on spaghetti sauce,
when the twenty-three subtle variations of “alfredo”
never add up to anything like the real deal.
sometimes i long for the simplicity
of the german supermarket,
where they only offer five kinds of cold cereal
(but fifty-four flavors of jam).