Nampa by Steve Bogdaniec

Today we laid off another 5000. Some town in Idaho, not sure where. I knew a woman from Idaho once, waitress at this one dive at school. Never knew why she moved out here. Nice woman, though.

Uniform was pink cotton with waves of white lace, thick chocolate brown pantyhose, tobacco perfume and crooked teeth, but always a smile. Lefty writing sideways, nails not painted but shiny and sharp, ripping off green bills of cheap coffee.

Came in so much she’d talk to me every time. She’d ask about class and my parents. Told her classes were boring and my parents were at home where they belonged. Told me her parents died before she could make anything of herself.

She seemed so old then—couldn’t have been over thirty-five. God I wanted her though.

I know she saw me as some kid but I didn’t care.

I never tried. One day I came in after Marketing and she was gone. Looked all over town, too. I missed her sliding my change over the metal counter top, grating painful shivers, and the way she’d make endearments flow through that crooked-toothed smile.

Steve Bogdaniec is a writer and teacher, currently teaching at Wright College in Chicago. Steve has had poetry and short fiction published in numerous journals, most recently Eclectica Magazine, Neat, Silver Birch Press, One Sentence Poems, and Blood Lotus. Follow him on Twitter! Just kidding—he never posts anything there anyway.