1am

the house is quiet but for the scritching of pencil on paper, the occasional gnawing on a bone, and espresso machine’s night time soliloquy

I remember

working the graveyard shift … waiting on drunks and bakers

empty hours, lonely people, just wanting a little kindness

steak and eggs, a side of hash browns and ketchuppouring coffee

weak coffee poured from a rotund glass pot

hot chocolate from a machine

iceberg lettuce and white buns

cracked fingers from the bleach in the bar rags tub

packing sugars & stacking mugs

The clinking of forks on plates

ketchup bottles upside down, mouth to mouth, marrying each other

Then slowly, across the black top parking lot,

the softening of night,

the slow stretch of morning

the baker kissed my cheek

6am

leather gloves and iced over car windows

heat blasting

car windows rolled down

singing Bohemian Rapsody at the top of my lungs

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