Saturday, April 26, 2014

What I Propose / Waitress Elegy

What I Propose / Waitress Elegy

John Grey 

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Slant, Stoneboat and US1 Worksheets with work upcoming in Bryant Literary Magazine, Natural Bridge, Southern California Review and Soundings East.  

What I Propose

I say your name,
this black night,
devoid of stars,
barely a moon,
trees dead,
air hollowed out -
the veiled time,
the isolated dead hours –

my lungs breathe
your face from the wall,
my lips kiss your mouth
out of that heavy dark curtain
I say your name
but my reaching arms
are unspeakable.


Waitress Elegy 

I slide
your loose coins
from the table,
clunk them deep
into my apron's pockets.

I am not a wanted poster
on your wife's white kitchen wall.
I serve the needs of hungry men.

And I am not a stupid person.
I could get a better job
but the hours suit
And where else can you
pleasure a customer
and effect an immediate reward.
It's not about the money though.
It's the recognition
a third refill of coffee brings.

Sure I could go back to your hotel.
You suggest it often enough.
I could be a one night stand
while you're in this city,
drinking, eating, screwing,
on the company tab.
Maybe you'd give me
the biggest tip I’ve ever seen.
But, even if you did,
my eyes wouldn't widen to accommodate.

You finish your meal,
drink the last dregs of coffee.
You know what's coming.
I hand you the bill.
You open your wallet,
give me some notes.,
say, “Keep the change."
You figure you're being generous
and I'm not
I keep the change. And nothing changes.

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