The Markthalle at Midday

by Grant Morgan

The horizon of the service girl,


with her waist pressed against the unoccupied Bar,


is cast by the line of people shuffling toward the food counter


Beneath the autumnal conversation and soft steps


a song plays.


It plays in unison in every daylight bar


i’ve ever sat in.


A song to which nobody drinks or touches one another.


The service girl is tired from rest.


She turns away from the counter, to which nobody comes


and the continuous line of people,


to wipe down liqour bottles on the shelf behind.


She takes down each bottle by the neck




to occupy her hands for the longest time possible.


Still, she watches her horizon


in the Bar’s grand mirror.


She thinks about ‘when they’re going to fix


the cracked blue and grey floor tiles’


that remind her so much of Malta


though she has never been there.


Then she thinks about meeting someone.