Say you’re driving
without destination,
without referring to
map or mechanic.

Until the signs, the towns,
their names lose meaning.

Until the greasiest spoon, all
decaying linoleum and bellied
paneling, colonial lanterns
and laminated menus.

Sauntering in, or swaggering.
Sitting at the counter.

Hot and cold running chicken
salad, pickle on every platter.
Cup of lukewarm, nearly brown
dishwater and a rare cheeseburger.
A refill for nothing.

A greasy, grizzled, shiftless
old man bangs his white mug
on the pay phone.
Laughter from the kitchen.
Waitresses vanishing.
Afternoon sun through
neon name.