I’ve always known how to serve it: sunnyside up over—
easy, it isn’t like a diner
where answers are served like burnt grease on stale coffee.
It isn’t the simple balancing of trays, the careful cracking—
if the yoke breaks promise you won’t be disappointed,
I got another one coming up in twenty minutes—sorry for the wait.
It isn’t like waiting, for your food at a diner
cause you never wanted to get that phone call—your mother.
It’s the size of a plum—the size of a yolk.
They just need to pluck it, you just need to crack it without breaking.
It isn’t like cleaning up a mess for a party of twelve drunken teenagers—
remember how we used to build towers out of pancakes,
How we like to pretend we don’t do that anymore.
My mother pretends better than yours—
she thinks she can sweep it away like used napkins, pieces of egg and hashbrowns, milkshakes gone rancid.
But she only has one rag.
It’s not like a diner—there’s no sure order of what you need or what you’ll get
it’s never the same as the picture on the menu
its not chocolate chip pancakes and strawberry milkshakes.
It’s not like a diner—I don’t have a manager who you can talk to
its just my number on the napkin—we’re open all night
if you want to talk over cups of stale coffee
and skim the filmy burned grease surface
or we can just watch how the neon signs reflect in our cups
and drink stale coffee to pretend its the reason we’re shaking.