the king kong challenge
Mama’s regular is coffeenocream, two eggs over-medium,
home-fries, crispy bacon, wheat toast, and asking
could you please bring some extra strawberry jam?
I used to order pancakes I could never finish.
The floor is checkered black and white and the placemat
have word-searches advertising local businesses.
I circle appliances, auto-shop, tractors, guns,
landscaping, and mattresses before our drinks come.
If you can eat three King Kong Deluxe burgers
(patties stacked with ham, bacon, cheese, LTOP; all the fixings),
a small order of fries, a side, and a quart of anything
(but water) to drink in thirty minutes or less, your meal’s free
and they paint your name on the back wall.
In 1984, Don “Boot” Buttrey finished in thirteen fucking minutes.
For lunch and dinner, burgers and fries come in red baskets
lined with paper checked like the floor. Construction workers,
bankers, ladies who lunch, college students,
and white-haired old men and women who’ve been here
since the beginning, perch on teal and shiny chrome stools
or squeak into vinyl booths that sparkle like the night sky.
There’s a jukebox by the cash register with Duke Ellington
and Count Basie and Louis Armstrong and all the cartoon
waitresses painted on the wall wear pink dresses and roller skates.
They have white faces, red lips, and no eyes.
Miles A.M. Collins-Sibley (he/him, they/them) is Black, queer, trans, and sick. He writes poetry to talk to ghosts and to fall in love. Miles received his MFA in Poetry from UMass-Amherst’s program for Poets & Writers. They are a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee whose poems can be found in We Want it All: Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020), McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Black Warrior Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Crab Fat Magazine, The Felt, Peach Mag, TRACK//FOUR, and Catapult. You can follow Miles on Twitter and Instagram @miles_n__miles.