Regular Poem: Secret Agents

19 Apr

Seeing a diner waitress
outside her diner
in civilian clothes
no make-up
hair down

is worse

than seeing a teacher
at the grocery store

somehow.

“Hey Mrs. Johnson–
it’s me
from
3rd period!
Reykjavik
was the capital I couldn’t remember
on the quiz!
How’s the cat you always reference
in your powerpoints?”

That’s weird
but organic.

“Oh hey
‘Laverne!’
It’s me
black coffee
yard bird special
boston cream pie
but if you don’t have that
cherry!
How’s your step-dad’s grave
that I overheard you
talking to another table about
one time?”

Ultra weird.
Inorganic.
Too intimate
yet bizarrely removed
from anything close to
personal.

It’s better
to accidentally meet
at the gas station ice machine
and share that eye contact
that says
“I know your face,
but I will not speak of it.”

There’s something furtive, tense
as if you know each other
from something unseemly,
but before
you can mumble code words
there’s the realization,
and it’s a relief
and a strange shared burden,
and you nod quickly
and head toward
your next mission.

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