The Waffle House on Battlefield Parkway in Chickamauga

Matthew Bruce Harrison’s writing can be found in West Branch, Yemassee, Carolina Quarterly, Texas Review, Adroit Journal, Cincinnati Review, Bayou, Gargoyle and Permafrost, among others. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart and for the Best of the Net Anthology, and his fiction has been nominated for the storySouth Million Writers Award and was a finalist for the Mid-American Review Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize. Originally from Georgia, he now lives and teaches in Minnesota.


The Waffle House on Battlefield Parkway in Chickamauga

Sunrise
           	traffic 
                        skirmish.
Burned
		toast
	riddled		
in 		raw                  
hands.                    
Sliced-		
	up 	
oxblood	
booths.            
Drum
	rattle 
		of 
overproduced
           		teens.
Light 		bulbs
	dying
in		
country
fried	meat
	smoke.
No 
           	mention 
of                     love
            all 
            	night.
Doomed
hash
browns		
forecast           collateral
	ketchup	
stains.		
Bones
massed		
under
mangled	
napkins.  
          Overdone 
fusillade         	
	rain.
	No 	
sign                 of 
	gray	
retreat.        
	No       
movie 		deal.	
	No
                        union.
            No
                        tip.
Every-
            body    off-
white
            bloating  	
phobias.
    	Taillights 	
	bleed      
south.              
			Commodes           
      		erupt.
            No       		
sleep	            all 	
	night
between 	us. 		
	Now
who		will 	
	strike	
blare		trample 
	spill		
		out		
this	over- 	            
		creamed	
house	
	brew
		shouting 	
	PAYBACK
when		charged           
	for        
	parking
too	long
            along
the       state     route
in         a          state
		of  
            simmering
	red
heritage?

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