Route 7 Review - Page 86

Dust to Dust Anna Maria Little I sit in a roadside cafe, a real comfort food joint with grease, chatter, fluorescent lights the heat turned down too low, the juke turned up too high a round waitress wipes her chapped, red hands on her apron her mouth is a long, downturned smear, the wrong shade of plum she claps a coffee cup in front of me, why can’t you smoke inside, anymore? it is too late for a nice girl like me to be out and about: the hungry stares coming from slits carved between beards and pulled-down baseballs caps indicate this the jukebox is playing Piano Man the coffee tastes like cigarette ash I taste like cigarette ash and I look like cigarette ash the men staring at me do too the whole world is cigarette ash and I don’t remember where I parked the car Anna Maria Little is an English major, studying for her degree in Nowhere, Georgia. Born and raised in rural Appalachia by Irish-Italian immigrants, she has only recently moved on to fulfill her dreams of being a career bartender.