Costa

by Dennis Stukenbroeker

The clean smell of the local
next to him on the coast bus
the smell of cheap perfumed soap
applied in an inconvenient
bathroom with trickling cold water
in the early warm morning
before the bake heat of the day
before the trip to work in the
tourist hotel/café/shop
repetitious ritual
on service on duty
on a long shift long after
he’s forgotten the encounter
but in his languid afternoon
in tepid air conditioning
on the other side of the
table/bar/counter
he notes they do things
differently here.