11PM at the IHOP

by Philipe AbiYouness

You take twenty minutes
to decide on your order.
In a house renowned for 
one thing,
you are torn
between yourself. 
Your salad, you say, 
is not fresh,
so you send it back. 
I don’t remember
what I was reaching for, 
or if you grabbed my wrist.
It could not have been salt or syrup
because I was eating a crepe.
What I remember next is 
how blue 
the booths were. 
How the Rite Aid was still closed. 
Across the street the sign read,
“under repair.”
“I don’t know,”
I said because I really did not know
why. Yes. These are new. 
I knew there was something
that was trying to get out
or swallow the outside in,
maybe there were gremlins
on the tip of my skin
that I was trying to send back.  
You can be so extreme sometimes. 
Five cigarettes at dinner
is a little dramatic, no?