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Reading the Paper in the Diner


At Venus Diner the scones burst
Like loose loam in my mouth.
The mountainous counters are muffin-mad.
You can use the honey buns for face mirrors.
You can watch the afternoon turn
Chrome-colored in the parking lot.


A glob of whipped cream sails down my
Hot mug of cappuccino and makes a milky puddle.
My waitress gathers her black rope of hair into a goose tail,
Wiping the espresso maker like the head of a just-bathed baby.
I hear her gum-busy mouth crackling as I read
So you really think he's nice, Barbara?she says.
Oohh yyeess, Barbara says. Why do I wonder
who they're talking about?


In Europe, scientists are turning jellyfish genes
Into glow-in-the-dark monkeys.
In El Salvador, a man cries in the dirt that held his house yesterday.
People are digging for his parents' bodies in the mountain mud.
At a refugee camp in Jordan a Palestinian with fourteen kids
Sells everything from peanuts to diapers at his dry goods shop.
In the Brooklyn night a girl offers her tongue to fat snow
slanting in the orange light like drunken fireflies.

G. Manizone

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