82 Miles From The Beach, We Order The Lobster At Clear Lake Café
by Alexis Rhone Fancher
The neon flashes “Lobster” and “Fresh!”
The parking lot is crowded. We’ve been driving since dawn.
The lobster must be good here, you say.
The harried, Korean waitress seats us near the kitchen.
She's somewhere between forty and dead.
I show you the strand of her coarse, black hair
stuck between the pages of my menu.
Undeterred, you order the lobster for two.
I investigate the salad bar.
Yellow grease pools in the dregs of blue cheese dressing;
a small roach skims the edge.
Before the waitress can bring the clam chowder, I kick you under the table.
I’m sorry, I say brightly. We’ve changed our minds.
I’m responsible for the look of defeat on her face.
As I head out, you stop and leave a twenty on the table.
I have never loved you more.
* * * * *
"82 Miles From The Beach, We Order The Lobster At Clear Lake Café" was first published in Slipstream (2017).
Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other
heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here (2017), and
Junkie Wife, (2018). She is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Hobart, Pirene’s
Fountain, The American Journal of Poetry, Plume, Nashville Review, Diode, Glass, Tinderbox,
Verse Daily, and elsewhere. Her photos are published worldwide, including River Styx, and the
covers of Witness, Heyday, The Chiron Review, and Nerve Cowboy. A multiple Pushcart Prize
and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. She lives in Los