The waitress, Sandy, in her canvas shoes, a dandelion of mustard on one toe, sees me gesture with my empty cup. She clears a table—plates of fish bones and corn cobs, crumpled napkins and measly tip—dumps them behind the counter and heads my way, thumb on the trigger of the pot. In one motion she’s filled my cup and moved off. Before I’ve mixed the sugar in, she’s at the table by the door, listening to the man in a leather jacket and saucer-sized belt buckle complain about his pie. I stare out the window wishing I could see even a few familiar stars in the small tent of sky visible over Main Street. But all the sky is anymore is a dome of city light, its dirty green turning night to murky fog. I’d need to drive miles, halfway to the lake, to see ground light dissolve into true. I could invite Sandy.
Michigan poet Lynn Pattison’s work has appeared in The Notre Dame Review, Rhino, Harpur Palate, Smartish Pace, Rattle, Tinderbox, Slipstream, and Poetry East, among others, and has been anthologized in several venues. She is the author of three collections: tesla’s daughter (March St. Press); Walking Back the Cat (Bright Hill Press); and Light That Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press).