Poetry - Issue 23 | November 2015

Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m.

by Troy

Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m.

This is what’s still beautiful about America—a breakfast
diner with blue plastic seats where they serve cold
powdered eggs and pancakes swimming in oily butter,
middle-aged waitresses calling you honey and pouring
grainy coffee the color of the backs of eyelids into your
cup faster than you can drink it. A table of innocently
bigoted graybeards holding their bacon-filled bellies,
laughing about fishing and bible studies. An elderly
couple motionless except when the man’s basset hound
eyebrows leap up at the sight of a server who knows him
by name. A pair of white (formerly blonde) haired
women having a polite verbal brawl over whose child has
been more of a disappointment. A young guy visibly
regretting taking a girl out at such an early hour.
Remnants of someone else’s syrup sticking your
forearms to the tablecloth, and you, alone and distant in
the corner booth with everything breaking down but
feeling okay, feeling just fine. In this diner all the
problems, from the immediate issues of a busted
carburetor and having no bed to sleep in to the more
general yet pressing matters of dwindling bank accounts,
fading friendships, unfound love, white guilt, and the
eventual heat death of the universe—it’s all somehow
sealed out, somehow negated for an hour by happy
people and the kind of food that will kill you faster than
cigarettes. And the sun’s coming steamy through the
window- you go to pay the bill, they undercharge you.
You make up the difference in the tip. There’s a bell
chiming as the door swings shut behind you.

About the author

Troy Cunio lives everywhere but usually in Orlando, Florida. He started to ramble as soon as he graduated high school. Since then, his travels have taken him to Panama City, Macchu Picchu and more sordid corners of Peru, as well as the Bahamas, the entire northern coast of Spain, Munich, Salzburg, and various places around the United States including remote parts of the Southwest and Southeast. The next major outing will take him to Belize, Mexico, the West Coast, and parts unknown for as long as his cash holds out. Cunio has had poems published in Strong Verse, and Sweet Wolverine. Read his collection, Inkstained Heartbeats or better still, book him for a reading.

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