Originally published in a small mag called LitRag, like 8-9 years ago….

Sanitation Grade C


Now that bars have declared last-call,
it’s off to a diner serving Denver omelets –
which might as well been freeze-dried
there and shipped here as bulk freight.
Only the chrome seats still shine
near the green Formica counter top
and the cracked glass casing housing
key-lime, apple, and lemon meringue pies
crusted by weeks of dust and neglect.

This is just to certify:

white ceramic floor tiles
have been blackened by the tread of boots.
There is no toilet paper in the bathrooms,
no soap in the dispenser by the leaking sink.
A halogen bulb flickers
over the head of a man
snoring into his plate of hash browns.
And a withered, wrinkles waitress,
stands next to him, scratching her armpits
through the fabric of yellow uniform
spotted gray, streaked, and soaked with sweat.

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