Poetry, Tyler Ryan
all of the sadness and irresponsibility she had forced into the diner, piece by piece
over many evenings, had been slowly exorcised.
the plates and mugs and knives were void of spit and sparkling, and the new
tablecloths laid tearless and tear-less.
the hostess was a recent hire—couldn’t possibly recognize the serial
school-skipper who always ordered the old-fashioned burger.
the diner grew an inch + took its birth control with coffee + threw mood stabilizers
into the back of its throat + knew how to cope + wore jeans that fit + grabbed onto
freedom from mid-day benders and guilt-fueled gratuities.
it took revenge upon her—expunged itself of its reputation as the dumping ground
of all self-mutilations—and dared her to catch up, to counsel the mind, to bathe it in
cool water, and to smother the occasional fire.
she became an agglomeration of clots: the attendance record, the screaming
mother, the cars stolen under stark moonlight
and though it had been awhile since she’d last trembled in the face of her
she was more afraid and hungry for leather booths an
than anyone could imagine.
Tyler Ryan is a writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction. More of her work can be found in Aunt Chloe: A Journal of Artful Candor. She can be found on Instagram @tylerryan131