Your parents take you to the same restaurant every year on your birthday and tell you what a good baby you were. You never cried or fussed in public. You were so great, they wanted another one. The waiter takes your orders with a faint look of relief. He’s got a soap opera name: Devon. This is a fairly decent place. Devon would never inquire about a patron’s accent. There is no Help Wanted sign in front. No french fries on the menu. Devon is dark and sleek as all get out. His nails are buffed. This morning in Shakespeare lab, he practiced falling at the feet of a king. Your parents took you to parties where there were fur coats draped across the beds. They smelled like your mother’s cologne. At twenty you found out who you were and who you weren’t. The waiter brings three salads on a tray and delivers each as if it’s an act of greatness. He remains in character. The tips here are good and the work is steady, but he still has to live in New York.
Sarah Henry lives in the Pittsburgh area, where her poems have appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Loyalhanna Review. More of her work is forthcoming in the new Pittsburgh Poetry Review. Farther afield, her publications include The Hollins Critic and three current anthologies. Humor is very important to her.