I am a restaurant waiter
Like any other restaurant waiter:
I wear out my shoes and my bones
Walking back and forth
Between the kitchen and the terrace,
Between the terrace and the kitchen,
Carrying pizzas for the tourists.
Every pizza I carry is the same,
And every one is different,
Just as every tourist I serve
Is different and the same.
You get an eye for the tearing of a basil leaf
And the laceration of a heart.
I’ve seen it all here in this square,
Carrying the plates of promise this way
And the plates of débris that:
I can read a table
As a mother reads a bed.
Not that I ever do anything with my knowledge:
I value it for its own sake,
I keep it to myself,
I think of my wife and children.
I once served Sophia Loren, as it happens;
And her secret is safe with me.
By Jonathan Steffen