Speculation

by Melissa Houghton

At the counter,
9 o’ clock,
a man orders a sandwich and starts
to eat.
He is good looking.
You notice him because
he’s good-looking.
No you don’t.
You notice him because you’re hungry,
and it is the sandwich
that draws your gaze:
the juicy, succulent skin of the tomato,
the drippings down the man’s chin.
As you ponder the perceived
value of tomatoes,
you see straight ahead,
your own reflection in the mirror.
Oh, Hi Alice. Good morning.
Shall we order a sandwich?
I think we could use one.

You call the waitress, Debra,
politely.
Ma’am,
I’m ready to order.
She ignores you.
The waitress is thinking about the man.
You hate her for this.
She should be
thinking about sandwiches.
Actually, she is not thinking
about anything.
She is sick, this waitress.
Sick of hearing the world’s going
to end. Let it end, she thinks,

I am in love.

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Filed under Issue 3, Poetry

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