The waitress says
the man at Table Three
is making noises.

You’d think she would be used to grunting
when the sun goes down
at Melvin’s Rib Château,

but this one’s whispering amen
into his marinade,
getting sauce all over his Armani.

It could be
he’s an escapee
from a gated community

of tofu burgers and arugula,
having succeeded his way
into a milieu

of Pilates and Lipitor.
Now he’s speaking in tongues,
saying, Bring me

another slab of mastodon,
in Aramaic.
It is the sound of

a biblical digging-down.
A rescue mission
of smoked pig and Budweiser.

Trying to find out
if his inner philistine
still has an appetite.

— Poet Tony Hoagland eats with his greasy fingers at Beaver’s, in Houston.