May 4, 2011

Kevin Ritter

about a man I saw in a restaurant

—For Annie. Eat fish with me.

I think I saw my future Friday night.
He was sitting in a booth, right next
to my table at My Friends twenty four
hour diner. He had glasses with thick
black rims. His yellow tie, with white
polka dots, contrasting against his
royal blue button down. An aura of
impeccability. Upon eavesdropping,
we determined that he would be eating
fish of some sort that evening.

Across from him sat a woman, wearing a black sweater
black shoes, black pants. Her hair was tied back. She
looked at him with such affection. They discussed fish.

I paid for my meal
and left. It was late
and I had to sleep
but I wondered what
they would discuss
how long they would
sit there in the booth
with the glow
of passing headlights
just a light stream of headlights,
after all, it was the
middle of the night.
I wondered what
they talk about on
a regular basis.

the weather
the possible existence of a creator
trivialities of popular culture
slim hips
the best types of fish
the reason they are here
at this diner at midnight
crossed wires
what to do about the whole situation
what it means to be platonic
what it means to love someone
what it means to love someone

I want to eat fish with you in ten years time.
I want to talk to you in the middle of the night,
while at the next table, some high schoolers,
a giant cluster of them, look on and wonder if
this is who they will become. Look on and
wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

[an editor's favorite, 2011]


Kevin Ritter is a poet, actor, box office staff person, and high school student extraordinaire residing in Cleveland, Ohio. His writing was featured at the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and has appeared in The Battered Suitcase and Thunderclap Press. He has a dog named Daisy.

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