The Waitress


kneels to place Theo’s fallen
shoe on his foot with the care

of a courtier. As she speaks
his name, both faces break

from bud to blossom. Foot
in hand, she tells him

There are buildings like this
everywhere, with women

like me in them.
I have been eating

pink and white and red
peanut M&Ms made

for Valentine’s Day and sold
at a post-romantic discount.

I know that once we reach
a certain age, faces no longer

open. I press the cut flower
of this promise to my chest,

clutch the menu, quietly say
into the space where I just asked

for pancakes, may my son always
feel welcomed, simply for walking

into a restaurant, sitting down,
dropping his shoe.