The Diner

It’s the sticky sweet feel of grease smothering
sweat-stained skin,
and the reek of future heart attacks topped with
“Extra cheese, please,”
alongside,
“One egg, fried.”
It’s the train-track marks that burrow beneath long sleeves,
branding “This is unhappiness,”
into pale forearms that strain overtop a skillet
for six hours and
six soiled needles.
It’s the noxious smell of mop water that
needs changing and
Jim Beam breath.
It’s 8 A.M.
It’s the faint smile that buries bad hangovers
beneath parched throats,
threatening to expose last night’s one night stand
in an array of colors.
It’s ripped booth cushions and crumb coated floors,
waitresses whose half-painted toenails peak out from
beneath tattered jeans.
It’s the cha-ching of a cash register circa 1982
and the feel of dirty money greeting
dirtier hands.
It’s the satisfaction gained from an omelet
that induces Diarrhea.
It’s the sound of a language you can’t understand
and a,
“Do you have the ice bucket?”
repeated ten times slow to no avail.
It’s trying to think of a gesture that means,
“Ice bucket.”
Fuck it.

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