John Grey, September 2009
Parking lot gray and empty,
lights dim, can this place be open.
But above the building,
the word “EATS” shines brightly enough,
And it flashes. Nothing in the world flashes
unless it wants something.
To feed us. To take our money in exchange.
Thankfully, the door does open.
The counter beckons though the waitress
could care less.
She reluctantly unfolds
her book of grubby invoices.
The surly cook sneers in the background.
He has to flip burgers, warm up the fries,
just when last May’s Penthouse
is getting good.
The half-eaten cake under glass
has seen a lot of customers come and go I figure.
Likewise, the stains on the enamel,
the cigarette ash on the floor.
But when you’re hungry, you’ll put up with
dirt and dust and hate and anger
and the sight of this Miss Havisham of desserts.
And, of course, the coffee tastes like tar.
Not how we like it particularly,
but how they prefer to serve it.
Besides, it’s bottomless.
And, in this world,
that’s where tasteless takes its cue.
John Grey is an Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Connecticut Review, Georgetown Review and Illuminations with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock and the Pinch.