Hungry Again in Camelot

--at Camelot Pizza and Golf

I press my fingers to the steel
wool and feel the cold, elastic
cheese snapping back into the black
olive sludge of sausage and sauce
caking the sink and my fingers.
Each scrape echoes the seconds lost
to the stacking of steel pans that will need
washing again before the tables
are wiped clean and the trash
is as empty as my stomach.
While I wash, I’m lost to staring
at the dried cheese by-products
stuck to the time-clock on the wall I charged
interest for Mauricio’s lies
of five-fifty-five an hour and dreams
of management and dishwater blondes,
lost to scraping cheese from tables
abandoned by customers for the eternal
bells and buzzers of pinball and Donkey
Kong and the killing of aliens and time
lost with the tokens slipping like moons
over a sea of teenage insecurity.
Under a pepperoni moon,
midnight found us sleepless, slapping time
clocks and golf balls onto freeways
until the cops sent us sprawling
home like hell to yelling preachers
on late-night TV, foretelling
our eventual descent. But what the hell
did they know of our lonely lot,
reaching nightly into the ovens’ flames
for pizza we would never taste,
for girls we’d never kiss,
for Friday nights that slipped away
with every strand of plastic cheese devoured
by the garbage disposal’s gaping mouth
letting loose a mighty belch
as if to eulogize
the wasted lives already ours.