In a diner on the side of the highway
my shaking hand pours coffee, flips burgers
as my cigarette takes orders at the bar.
We have hot soup-du-jour, burgers, and eggs
for the hitchers, truckers, and farmers
who dust themselves by the door
and chat about the weather.
Doris DeLynn, with her big hair, and round hips
serves Salisbury steaks, with cole slaw, and hash.
Her make-up cracks when she winks an eye.
We stay open all night, almost every night.
Drifters come and go with bindle in hand.
Pastel blue table-cloths weep over potted petunias
plucked fresh from the little garden I got out back.
Every other day, mood willing, Doris takes me.
I flip the sign around in the door, and we romp
a sweaty, sticky mess in the old, dusty office.
Doris’s perfume stings my tongue when I mash my face in her neck
as I picture prom queens, and old flings from a lifetime ago.
The day arrives, when Doris leaves me for good.
She trades me in for a salesman, who drives a big Ford
and carries a card, a briefcase, and such.
She’ll move to the city, and grow into a salesman’s fat wife.
I’ll grow older, and more bitter, until the day I shoot myself
seated at the desk, in the office, where Doris used to take me.
And, I suppose, no one will come to that old diner again.