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Bacon & Eggs, Cigarettes, and the Courier-Express

July 6, 2013 by · 3 comments

Patrick Cornelius

Patrick Cornelius
Photo: megnificence

Used to fall asleep drunk on Saturday night,
leave the shades up and hope mid-morning sun
would cheat another comedown Sunday afternoon.
Then I could breakfast at the Greek.

I gave up hangovers half a life since,
but I long for days of cruddy, linoleum tile floors,
Formica-top tables with red & white cloths,
ashtrays of glass and porcelain coffee cups.

Fragrant bouquet of bacon & eggs over easy,
white toast smothered with salty butter,
Smucker’s sweet strawberry jelly and oh,
the pungent chicory of caffeinated coffee.

Nicotine cured fingerprints,
butter-greasy, smearing the margins
of Sunday’s Courier-Express.
The only time
I was ever happy as a drunk.
Or at least, something close.

No more cigarettes. Quit those, too.
Nobody can let you smoke anymore anyway.
These days its, sip saccharine decaf and look around,
hoping for an old face in the now carpeted
and oak-trimmed Greek.

And older faces seem younger, ‘til I see old friends
and don’t recognize them at first.
Our old Formica world is fading away.

Toast is whole wheat,
most of the home fries get left on the plate,
but do not, I beg you Sweet Jaysus,
submit to eggbeaters.
How can anybody want their eggs poured
from a wax carton?
My fingertips still get black,
though now it’s from omega-3
margarine and newsprint from
the New York Times Book Review.
They closed the Courier before most
of my friend’s kids were born.

But sometimes, in dreams, I’m still
eating breakfast with white-bread toast.
There’s pure cane sugar and cream
in high-test coffee. A plate of bacon & eggs
with corned-beef hash.

A pack of cigarettes, and a Zippo
sits atop a red & white tablecloth
next to a real ashtray.
And the sections of the paper are
spread across my table like the many faces
of people that I used to know.

Back when we came to the Greek
with Sunday hangovers
and an appetite for bacon & eggs,
cigarettes and the Courier-Express.

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


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