The Cafeteria Workers Don’t Notice Us at Their Night Jobs

When the setting sun turns
the outskirts gas station
into a greasy highway diner and
turns high school cafeteria workers
into night-shift diner cashiers,
they stare right through us, no longer
wearing their afternoon smiles
and school-spirit-colored uniform
like maybe they know, more than us,
that in the light of the sun,
we stare right through them.

Quinn Carver Johnson is a senior at Hendrix College, pursuing degrees in Creative Writing and Performance Studies. Johnson was an editorial intern at Sundress Publications, a volunteer for the 2019 VIDA Count, and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Aonian. Johnson’s work has appeared in Rappahannock Review, Right Hand Pointing, Flint Hills Review, and elsewhere.