The diner’s lurked at the corner since 1937;
hasn’t been made-over
Fluorescent signs behind the counter burned
out back in ‘64; grilled cheese
costs two bits, pie’s ten cents.
Only one lightbulb still burns inside,
making the owner’s bald spot
shine like the floors he’s waxing.
At midnight, he shuts down, folds himself
into bed somewhere upstairs,
sheets lined with cedar against moths.
And down the street, by the locksmith’s shop,
a pop machine hunkers, waiting
to be fed quarters.
Five flavors and a Mystery Slot!
With change left from the diner,
teens feed the machine—take a chance.
It dispenses Shasta, old blue can;
Tab to another, things they’ve
never seen, outside retro shows.
Laughing, feeling like hipsters, they leave,
Not seeing the light upstairs,
or the shadow that watches them.