Big fat man in shimmer-shine polo;
Walk and slosh from side to side;
Strange lined threads shake and spray
the yellow diner light.
Little head blond round and wise
Aging tortoise mouth and eyes.
Slap back, handshake-hug
a short, jive suit fellah–
a dark skin boy in sheer flattop;
these two guys: men upon the scene.
“Can you believe this?
Yuppies flood’in the place!–!”
Slide together in a booth
To meet across a faux
blue marble tabletop–
plastic over composite ply.
Old school blinking cool.
Earlier, to the tan kid
sprawled along old countertop,
who’d said it was like that here five years ago:
“83 homicides!–83 homicides the last year I’s here!”
Earlier earlier, to the 50-and-some
broad dropjaw overarch nose
local team sweatshirt counterman
leaning forward–arms as struts,
palms pushed against his countertop:
“What’s happened to this place!?”
“I worked here 25 years ago–
neighborhood’s completely changed–
who are these people?”
The 90 year old woman, with still a dab of slav
at the bottom of her Brooklyn,
who lived for 60 years down the street a bit,
who stays now above the diner
a small place she shared
with her son,
who’d worked at the diner
before he died–
“but he died”–,
said, after open-arm head-back
“neighborhoods completely changed”
and wrapping weakly ’round frog-faced
“who are these people?”:
“I think its nice.”
and an unconvinced,
but peaceable unconcerned