“Wombats have cube-shaped poop,” the waitress says as she refills the sugar bowl.
“I’ll stick with the Splenda,” I say and raise the coffee mug to my lips. From the individual-sized cereal boxes, I pick the anti-Christ of the grain group.
“Blessed be the Fruit Loops,” says the devil perched on my shoulder. He dips his forked tongue into the milk pitcher, slurps loudly, dribbles on my newspaper.
Headlines warn: “Lack of farm workers threatens grape crop.” I bow my head and give thanks to Monsanto for red dye #40 and Methyl Anthranilate.
Jorma Kaukonen said, “I don’t care if my lettuce has DDT on it, as long as it’s crisp,” and he’s still playing badass guitar at 78.
How do I know preservatives aren’t preserving me?
I fold my paper and tuck it under my aluminum-swabbed armpit. Fuck Alzheimer’s. Today I’m dry. Stepping out the diner door, I inhale the exhaust of the #41 bus heading downtown. Zombies fill every seat.
Jayne Martin is a 2017 Pushcart nominee, 2016 winner of Vestal Review’s VERA award, and a 2018 Best Small Fictions nominee. Her work has appeared in Literary Orphans, Spelk, Crack the Spine, Midwestern Gothic, Five:2:One, MoonPark Review, Blink-Ink, Blue Fifth Review, Hippocampus and Connotation Press, among others. She lives in California where she drinks copious amounts of fine wine and rides horses, though not at the same time. Find her on Twitter @Jayne_Martin.