First World Problems

Not a whole lot of space
to write today—
at a Mexican restaurant
penning on Keno cards again.
First, praise the Mexican’s for
cost-free chips and salsa, among
many other wonderful things,
like good looks and hard work

Second,
“I just got out of prison,” the man
across the aisle says to our waiter
“How much would it cost to get
rice and beans?”
I notice he’s drinking water, does
not order soda or beer, just a
Chimichanga. I want to say something
like “You’ve been through enough,
I’ll buy your rice and beans”
But I do not.

He’s got a girlfriend who sits
across from him in a hairbun and jean
cut-offs, poking at her phone, sullen.
They look like we do sometimes,
a couple with not much to say,
even just out of prison.
I send little smiles his way and
I even cry but that’s all on me
As usual, I am invisible

My food comes first which I regret
I sit and wait for his to come…
He of piss-orange prison juice and
white slips of bread made for toddlers,
fed to men

Gosh it takes forever waiting on
that Chimichanga
I drool at my plate of
enchiladas but I do
not take a bite

When finally it comes
we lift our forks to our
mouths and my tongue gets
burnt, food still hot even after
waiting five minutes

I figure if the mouth of the man
got burnt too, he’s probably just
thanking the Gods for food
that’s so hot

Tears catch on my plate as I
contemplate Mexican’s and prisoners
and what my next step will be now that
I’ve got a full belly

See I am no different from him

3 thoughts on “First World Problems

  1. Every once in a while I pop in to see your latest. you call me “the mysterious one”. I don’t know why. I like your writing. I don’t remember how I found you. I’m glad I did. I myself am partial to wet burritos with red sauce and then I hit the chutney bar from the Gateway to India restaurant in Longwood, which is near the Court house….where they say “guilty”, or “not guilty”. Thank you for inducing the memories. As always….you are there, and I am here. We are like little grains of sand on the beach communicating through the water waves instead of the internet.

    1. Valorie, what a pretty spelling.

      I’ve always loved that name. I am certain I called you a stranger angel, I like the mysterious one too. Mysterious indeed. That there’s somebody out there, on the great beach of life, who lets me speak to them truthfully and hears me, really listens. Thank you. This is all for you. You have a beautiful day, Valorie. I can see you eating and pondering, pondering and eating. I hope you will continue to visit my blog and that someday I can gift you a book of poems or memoir. Thank you so much. Thank you (OK I said that already) ❤

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