You are behind that counter,
your canvas – pastrami, provolone, salt and pepper,
these your fleeting tools, as I suppose,
like New Years pull poppers used and forgotten.
Surely the learned setting outside is your playground.
Behind that counter now, a way station of necessity,
smoke of engines soon departing obscure all but now,
And then you speak and words betray,
reveal not pull poppers, but a fuse of indeterminate length.
To you, the smell of fast food toil is a lifelong linger
on your polyester shirt.
Behind that counter now.
Behind that counter forever.
Until you are no longer young,
until first impressions do not mislead.