the poetry knook, the poetry of stephen m. james

Hash browns (after Waffle House)

scattered
No answer.
She plays with her fork,
her food divides into individual hairs,
I’m parched:
waiting for words all night.

smothered
Am I onion, cutting, alone?
“does he love me?” she asks.
I said, “This isn’t romance”
as I slid my arm around.

covered
“I love cheese, too” she says,
“American is fake
“and grease is bad.”
She won’t let me pay.

chunked
Hamming it up, no bite, no sip
water untouched
no thirst for talking;
I know her like our waitress,
emm. . . (looking at nametag)

topped
off with ice scream “You chilly?”
“No, nervous–my first date.”

diced
unripe remains of Kyle
and other tropical storms of rejection
crush;
weathered palms cling for anything.

peppered
with smiles, glances, hugs,
phone calls on nights ending in “day,”
I can do no more.
Goodnight.


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© 1993-2024 by Stephen M. James.