LUNCHEON, WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT
Any time that I’ve found myself where I don’t belong it was because of a man. Connecticut, no exception. I wore a jean jacket on a ninety-degree day to hide my tattoosbecause I was trying to convince the woman who birthed the man I was seeing that I was well-read, well-traveled, well-motherfucking-everything. This jacket had not been washed in the eight years since it was passed down to me by the woman who owned the bar,who liked to sit at her bar and drink and play Keith songs and tell stories of New York, the real New York before it got cleaned it up.She used to let us girls wear blue lipstick and when the tables gave us an earful for fucking up their orders,which we often did, she would walk right in there and give it back to them.In those days I didn’t even know how to open a wine bottle. Tables would take it out from my hands when I tried. Sometimes with impatience. Sometimes with mercy.There were entrees on the menu that I couldn’t pronounceso I never tried to sell them even though it would up the bill. Not that I was a bad worker. On Saturdays, I’d get there at six a.m. to set up the breakfast buffet, just me and the lady cook who used to talkabout her court dates.It would be a good idea, I think, to make a list of people to resent, of people who told me I’d be happier the further I got from myself. I want to fill this list with the people I’m sharing this table with now, even the great aunts of his I’ll only meet this once. Especially them,with their houses listed on the historic preservation list.I try to bust open a spring of names but it’s just another bottle of wine.
Natalli Amato is the author of the poetry collection "On a Windless Night." Her poetry has appeared in Darling Magazine, the Lily Review, and the Speckled Trout Review. She has forthcoming work in Blueline, The Great Lakes Review, and New York Quarterly. She lives in Sackets Harbor, New York, where she waitressed at the Sackets Harbor Brewing Company for many years.