Bussing Tables at a University Dining Hall

By Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

By Ian Thompson

I wipe spilled chocolate pudding
from the dining hall table
as if I’m wiping the ass
of mankind. I am Christlike.
Above the sanitizer
bucket, I twist my wet rag,
stained with the sins of frat kids
who still don’t know how
to clean up after themselves.
They’re lucky I’m forgiving.
At the sound of, “Excuse me,”
I look up toward a girl
looking absolutely scared
for the fate of the planet,
like there are people starving,
or something crazy like that.

“Do you guys have Frosted Flakes,”
she asks, clinging to false hope.

“No,” I say, straining a grin,
“but we do have Cap’n Crunch!”

My vision of Cap’n Crunch
gutting Tony the Tiger
with a rust-covered meat hook
almost causes me to miss
the sight of her head shaking
sadly as she walks away.


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