"Dorsey Gets His Way"
by William Taylor Jr.

for john dorsey


Dorsey walks into the KFC,

 

one of the fancy ones with waitresses

and curtains and everything.

 

He sits at a table

like a rightful king 

at his throne.

 

He doesn't need a menu. 

 

When the waitress arrives Dorsey smiles

and softly orders

 

a large coke

and a Double Down sandwich.

 

The waitress gives a solemn nod

and brings the drink.

 

Ten minutes later she comes back

and sets the thing in front of him:

 

four strips of bacon and two pieces of cheese;

and rather than bread, it's all pressed between

two heavy slabs of grease fried chicken.

 

The waitress moves to leave 

as Dorsey raises his hand and says,

 

I'd like some gravy, please.

 

It don't come with gravy,

says the waitress.

 

That's okay, says Dorsey, I'll pay extra.

 

The waitress looks confused 

and a little concerned.

 

You don't want gravy on that, she says.

 

But I do, Dorsey replies, gentle

but firm.

 

It's already got sauce, she says.

 

Gravy, says Dorsey, please.

The waitress looks about nervously

as if in the throes of a moral dilemma

of the likes she's never known.

 

She gives a curt nod and disappears.

She comes back a few minutes later

bearing a white ceramic boat 

of brown gravy.

 

Dorsey thanks her 

as she quickly crosses herself

and returns to her place behind the counter.

 

Dorsey holds the gravy boat aloft -

holds it there a moment

high above his plate

like a precious artifact

glinting in the artificial light.

 

And then he empties it 

upon the sandwich,

 

the waitresses watching
from the relative safety of their stations.

 

He takes the sandwich in his hands,

little waterfalls of gravy 

splashing on the plate below.

 

He takes a solid first bite

and deems it good.

 

He takes his time, 

savoring each mouthful

 

with drinks of ice-cold cola in-between.

 

When he's done he waves the waitress over.

He thanks her and orders something to go.

 

Dorsey pays the bill,

takes his time

with the rest of his drink,

 

then eventually rises

amid whispers and stares.

 

The sun shines his name

as Dorsey steps out beneath it,

one pocket stuffed with chicken tenders,

 

the other full of gravy.