Shnooks and Heffers

The shnook in the diner
Hasn’t gotten laid
Since Chernobyl,
And the last time he kissed
Was when he smooched
His own forearm
For Christmas.
He fantasizes about saving
A toddler from a fiery perambulator:
Running out of the diner
(Without paying),
Dousing the fire with borsht,
Then pounding his pecs like King Kong,
Yelling Look at me, I’m a hero!
But even in his fantasy,
No one looks.
Back in the diner of reality,
He looks across the street
At the heffer in the Chinese takeout.
She stuffs herself with
Number seventy-four,
Turning the page of
A food-stained newspaper
With someone else’s address.
Yes, she sees the man in the diner,
And has thought about consummating
Their love in a secret,
Unknown aisle of the bodega,
Hiring illegal laborers
From a street corner to
Be their wedding party, and
Going on a honeymoon
In the travel section of a bookstore.
She’s thought of what could be
And one of these days
She’ll cross the street
To grab a minestrone soup
Beside him.
But she’s in no rush,
And neither is he.