by Emily Corwin 

Tuck in your scarf like a napkin,
and turn your lowered eyes up to the menu
as you pick two—the creamy tomato soup
and the caesar salad—with a café mocha
and a dollar bakery item. Say “yeah sure, okay”

to whip cream on your coffee, then wait in line,
your coat skating against wallpaper gold
as baguettes and dinner rolls. Keep your hands
folded over each other in patience. Smile,

but not with your teeth, when they shout
your name out—a sharp kind of question—
and carry your tray to the nearest table. Try not to worry
that someone might need the extra seat.

Emily Corwin is a recent graduate of the College of Wooster, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Film Studies. She has been published inBluestem Magazine and Scholastic’s The Best Teen Writing of 2009, and was recognized her senior year with the Grace Prize in Poetry from Wooster’s English Department.  She currently works as a graduate teaching assistant at Miami University, where she teaches freshman composition.

 lipstickparty magazine has also published Emily’s poem, “My Grandmother Seeing Green.

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