1

Passing beneath the golden arches
To stand in a more
Comforting environment
He and his perhaps she
Waiting seldom silently
Hands in pockets, smiling
Feeling securer though
A stranger in a strange land

He steps quickly to the bright
Counter where a young girl
With politely interrogative eyes
Inquires, Bitte?
And says with confidence born of
Not so much knowledge as
Long use, Zwei Cheeseburger
Kleine Pomme Frites
Eine Heisse Apfeltasche
Und Eine Heisse Schokolade.


Pride perhaps lends a capital
To every word

2

As hurrying she goes to yes
He carefully mentally adds
And from his pocket counts
What he hopes will be
The exact amount

Returning she with a,
Hier zu essen oder mitzunehmen?
But he from long experience
Knows, Hier. to say
Puts the things upon the tray
And revealing that she knows
After all says not,
Sieben Mark dreizig.
But, Seven marks thirty
And he pays and turns away
With a, Thank you.

3

Upstairs he and his perhaps she
Past the sign, Toiletten im ersten Stock
Under the sign, Nicht Rauchen
Because the first floor is
And the second floor isn't
And he doesn't
Finds or perhaps find a table
Sits or perhaps sit and
Eats or perhaps eat

Perhaps they talk
Or alone he tries to be inconspicuous
While carefully surveying to see
Is anyone looking at me?
If talking, they hardly attend
To the taste, being too busy
Attending to one another's words
Or at least in his case
Eyes and hair and lips—

He only seeks some intimacy
Among impersonal surroundings
Wanting to touch and perhaps
Be touched while no one suspects
Because the lights are bright
The floor is clean; the food is bad
And the service is fast and efficient.