Frail sparrows wait without flight
at the take-out counter. The aroma
reduces the chill of hunger; accepting
gladly the warm prize they turn with hope,
stepping out into the cold.
Fast thoughts whisk across tables and
counters. Words mixed with coffee and
cigarettes fuel pointing fingers as the world
is explored over hamburgers and fries.
A song locks uneasily into the air. The words
compete against the clang of empty dishes
Initials on a greasy window. Uneven
checkerboard tiles. Stained tablecloths.
Used napkins under the tables. A lone salt
shaker. Mustard without a top. Faces like
shells on the beach. Hats tipped. Long sleeves,
sandals, scuffed boots. Everyone hides in the open.