The Coil
Published in

The Coil

Cleaning Up at the Hamtramck Burger Chef

Poem by Don Winter

Nights at this place
boss lines spray bottles up
across the counter. He says the red’s
for shelves, the blue’s for toilets,
and the white’s only for stainless steel.
His eyebrows frown, but when
that bastard disappears into his office,
I spray what I want
onto what I want.

Some nights his wife lifts
her ass onto the counter. She points
out turnover skins I missed.
Looks like she’s been slept in
for years. Those nights I time
his trip to the bank so I can chase
her with the white bottle.
And I catch her and squeeze
the little Chef faces stitched
over her breasts.

But most nights the boss
looks right through me. His wife cleans
the salad bar, and yells
at the bits of mustard and dressing.
As if they were to blame
for all this. One night boss yelled,
What are you sittin around for?
Go home and get yourself
a piece of ass. I turned to him.
I am a piece of ass.
He laughed at that,
so I said it louder.

DON WINTER has taught in U.S. high schools, is the recipient of numerous honors, including 15 Pushcart nominations in eight years, and has been published in several anthologies. “The people deserve a great poet to sing of them, and in Don Winter they have found him.” — Fred Voss
First place winner of the 2008 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry



Literature to change your lightbulb.

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Coil Poetry

Coil Poetry

Poetry at The Coil: An Independent Literary Magazine at Contact Poetry Editor Lewis J. Phillips at #CoilMag