abstract 1

by JL Martindale

Spatulas tap-smack grills
silver sorted, segregated
from dishwasher into plastic cups.

Plates slide, land onto tables
dressed with salt, pepper,
jam, syrup and sometimes Tapatio.

Murmurs, mumbles, babbling,
throat clearing and wailing children.
Slurps of coffee soothe morning-after cotton mouth:

weekday brunch sounds
more magical than coins falling
in Vegas slot machines.

Across from me, you smile.
Although we participate in this music of diners
we say nothing,

mutually lost in a contentment
of being alone together
with all of these other strangers.

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