"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
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.