to the cutest new waiter at my favorite venue, whose name may be Chad

you’re so
clean cut and innocent-looking
with your muted plaid shirts
like you just moved here
from Connecticut or
New Hampshire or
Wisconsin or Idaho;
somewhere bucolic
that isn’t so smoggy.

your clear country skin
is creamy as a milkmaid’s,
you’ve never seen rats, or roaches –
or homeless dudes relieving
themselves on the subway
right before asking for change –
until now.

your cloudless blue eyes
have never felt the poison kiss
of acid rain or mysterious awful liquids dripping
from air conditioning units
that love to land
right in your pretty little
peepers – until now.

did you move here to become
an actor? that’s so adorable.
you’re probably young enough
to be my child. much as I would love
to spoil you – in and out of bed –
I can see by your face that
you haven’t suffered
enough yet to be an artist of note.
get back to me in a few years
when New York has broken
your spirit a little bit more.

maybe by then you’ll have forgotten
my embarrassing little secrets
like how I order extra butter
for the garlic bread that is supposedly
“already buttered”, or how I left a full bowl
of pasta sauce consisting entirely
of onions, having picked out
all the penne and all the bacon,
or how I danced not entirely awkwardly
to Ben Pagano’s set
like a broken robot. please, forget
these things that make me look
somewhat less than cool,
and I’ll forgive how very pretty
you are, little country boy.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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