crockpot full of hot cheese on table with pizza and spaghetti

From the Counter at the Silver Skillet

Table number eight
at the Silver Skillet
is taking too long

and Annette,
who calls
everyone baby,
doesn’t want
to be rude but

she needs them to hurry
the hell up. Her teal
scrunchie matches her teal

shirt matches
her teal eye-
shadow, her long
nails click on
the counter

in time with Teresa snapping
her gum at the register.
The waitresses all live

in the ice
box, come out
for their shifts
with freezer burn,
as permanent

as the checkered tile, which,
admittedly, peels up
in the corners but damn it

if you don’t
have to pull
real hard.
There are the
two young

ones with the purple hair and
Oscar the cook and they all
want their smoke break

but Linda
is waiting on
toast. The boys
in the kitchen
are serving up

lemon pie between James Brown
songs until Annette interrupts
by knocking the old radio

to the floor
with her big ass
and the bus-
boys all

“Service with a smile… most
of the time” says the sign above
the pass-through. As she swings

past the shelf
with the framed
photo from
that one time
Dave Chappelle

stopped by, she blows him
a kiss because damn it
if he didn’t flirt with her

a little,
she twirled
her teal

and tapped her nails,
stood unwittingly under
the “If you are what you eat,

I’m fast, easy,
and cheap”
sign for a good
five minutes
before Linda

nudged her sideways and when
she told her kids they didn’t
believe her and she drums

the counter in front of me
as she passes through,
“Just another minute, baby.”