“Pocket Lint” by Pamela Larson

Tonight they’re serving steak
at the diner.
I take a seat at the counter
because when you’re alone
on a busy night
you’re a waste of a booth.
Since it’s a night with a good special
the menu snoozes in its stand
and I gaze at it
jealous that it doesn’t care
if lover’s eyes will ever watch it sleep
or hold it close through the night.
The chrome-colored
countertop jukebox
elbows me for attention
and I flip its guts
looking for a new picture of life –
something to want
something to distract
something to care about.
The waitress sets my blue plate
in front of me.
She’s pretty
and I wonder for a moment
if I could love her.
Not completely sure
I best leave that be
and go back
to bargaining with God
for the picket fence of misery
50% decide later
they don’t even want.
A dropped glass shatters me out of my
stupor.
I watch outside the fence
from a seat in the diner
pull the pocket lint off a quarter
pick the new life listed under B5
grab my fork and knife
and get started.