By Maya Washington//

Everyone at my table groans
about the dry chicken breast, while I

am so proud of myself for speaking up,
asking for a Vegetarian plate.

When the server clears the table
I acknowledge him with a smile

because life is servitude.
And he is Latin, and maybe

I flirted a little before requesting
that Vegetarian plate.

And maybe I am aware that
I am a guest today.

Here at yet another white man’s
corporate table.

And perhaps my grandmother never broke
bread with the white folks she worked for.

So I drink decaf coffee because the server offers it.
He is a graceful and dignified man.

I lose interest in the chocolate mousse cake,
with its chocolate shavings perspiring.

I convince myself that the coffee
will keep me from nodding off
to the drone of the distinguished keynote speaker.