Diner Glass

The Diner Glass

 

She had sweet

green eyes and legs

that bent like willows-

I sipped the burning bitter,

waiting for the night.

 

People look different

through a diner glass.

But the leaves fall

just the same.

Orange, yellow, fire red.

I imagine them in days,

weaving my fingers through

golden strands.

 

Her ghost sat down beside me.

 

A bent man crept through the door

a gnarly gust of wind followed him

Trailed by a single leaf,

he hobbled to the diner’s bar:

“A cuppa joe, my boy.”

His voice is like rust.

“Sure,” I shrug, smiling.

 

She purses her lip, impatient-

I watch her, from my memory

through the corner of my eye.

 

Her ghost slips from my mind.

 

I pour it for him,

the bitter black.

The leaf settles at his feet

scuffed loafers below

geriatric knees.

 

He leans into me

the diner glass breaks

and all my defenses

shatter.

 

(he stole my girl away)

I look death in the eye

 

“Those veins, all withered and dry?”

he asks. I look at the golden leaf.

“They’re mine. I got one day left to live.”

 

And then I remember

Her hand in mine,

the spice of crushed leaf

beneath my feet.

 

That chalk-white face.

arteries shone

under translucent

skin

 

I shake my head in sorrow.

He brushes off my sympathy

 

“No regrets,

we all fall eventually.

But boy, you got graves

in your eyes.”

 

He leans in to me,

whispers confidingly.

Rheumy eyed-

must be wise.

“You’re too young

to have death

on your mind.”

he rasps.

 

“You got gardens to tend.”

And he died.

 

I buried his bones in the wall

No one noticed,

they never do.

He left a wallet

full of dreams

I kept what was useful,

burnt the rest:

“There’s no spare change

where you’re bound.”

 

She watched,

through the glass

night set in.

 

She stripped for me,

on the diner bar.

I watched her

dance on the walls.

“You don’t have far

to go, boy.

You don’t have

much at all”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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