Cars circle this island

of ease, muted by overhead

glare. Sun bulbs: 60-watt

bells of light. New server,

her nerves in tug-of-war

with first-time optimism. Dexy’s

canned time capsule croons

Toora-loora love for Eileen.

Forks scrape plates; sausage

spice wavers in conditioned air.


I order what had been my usual,

before I showed you this

breakfast paradise. I wait

and consider your ghost—

across table, beyond tin of cream,

plastic packs of blueberry jam—

lips sucked thin

with tension, flanked

by tear stains.


Omelet comes, accompanied

by Genesis: Cut it free, shake it loose

“Tonight” and server’s first uncertain steps:

Arms full of fuel, hot and salty, eyes

on tip, piles of silverware shuffle;

packaged concrete butter

melts in fluffy biscuit folds.


Billy Ocean—sonorous, mournful sax solo

Love on the run on this island

of ease, my own “Caribbean Queen”

long gone. Her trail fades on Billy’s

beach—tracks of pepper on hash browns.


Coming out, my server declares: new, now

routine. I hold coffee close, campfire warmth,

my stomach snug as omelet

settles; ham, egg, and cheese

plural destiny settled, as your ghost,

eyes on circling cars, mouths:



Dire Straits now, my slashed

signature, “Walk of life,” final

thoughtful sips: steaming creamy

sugar, major-chord resolve. I swallow

your memory, our plural destiny.

I got the action, got the motion.


I reclaim this island in my own name

and reunite with cars that circle,

hunger for a chance to burn

their fuel in effigy of lost love.