By Dan Hein

There’s something to be said
About the smell of shakes
And French fries
At one in the morning

And the joy of being there
Beneath a red and yellow sun
That flickers on and off

And the soft hum of neon lights
Like a mother’s heartbeat

And the buzz of the fryolator
With the air above it so warm
Thanks to the scalding hot oil

And the stained wood walls
That tell you everything inside
Is safe and comfortable

And the pile of discarded food
Gathered slowly over the day
And now overflowing with trash

And the creepy plastic clown
Sitting down on a bench
For little kids to sit next to
And bawl their eyes out

And the unsavory types
That come out this late at night
To eat, because they have
Nothing better to do, or
Maybe they’re lonely

And the ketchup stains that cover
Every corner of the building

And the bathrooms that seem
So out of place, with filth
And waste everywhere.

There’s something to be said
About all of that. It feels
Kind of romantic, doesn’t it?

No? Well,
Can’t say I didn’t try.