Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

The Man at the Pizza Buffet — Brandyn Johnson

is wearing his gun on his hip.
What happened the last time
he was here? Who snatched

the last heatlamp dried
crunchy slice of pepperoni
when he reached?

He struts around the sneezeguard
protected pies like a queen
choosing the day’s handbag.

He stutters buffet traffic
like a shoulder speedtrap.
His frown shrugs

as if to say just in case.
His belly says not off-duty cop.
We all try not to stare

but he wants us to notice.
Nobody in here is going
to harm you, sir, we all tell him.

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