Cracked, coral-painted lips,
A name tag—MARIETTE.
She bustles between vinyl booths
as though there aren’t
only three people here.
A hunched man with a white wispy neckbeard
flops over the counter
like an undercooked piece of bacon,
steel-toed boots kicking the rusty counter stool.
He orders the farmer’s breakfast.
(six eggs scrambled, eight slices of bacon,
oily homefries, buttered toast)
Mariette brings me my coffee.
As she sets it down, some spills on my hand.
It burns me as it drips down the mug
oozing onto a stray sugar packet.
This whole place oozes
some kind of feeling.
(Taylor ham, egg and cheese,
salt, pepper, ketchup)
Greasy tile floors caked
from endless breakfast
with the sounds of the interstate out my window.
The old man is waving down the waitress,
her hair is dusty like the white chipped ceramic cups.
I wonder who’s been here longer,
sun-faded, tacky and unchangeable.
With vinyl and paper menus and ancient waitresses irreplaceable.