Separation is key here: white from yolk, cream from coffee, each square a pit to fall into, rounded on some edges, hard and harsh like the prongs on a fork in others. The lights flicker and pulse, the scraping of metal on metal a comfort of sorts. If they were to let us behind the counter we could pretend that we were in my kitchen fishing for spatulas in wooden drawers: you know, the one with the loose handle—I know you have one just like it where you live, yet my grandmother has always said that a donkey is smarter in his own house than a genius is in someone else’s. The truth is, I am not as clever as I think I am. The truth is this: we should never be awake at this time of night, at this time of morning—that lights have already gone out, that we are looked at through tired eyes, dried out from smoke so that we can see each other in the dark instead of a shadow of hands, the swift movement of hair. This could be nice. This could be nice, but we are tired: the potatoes cool quickly, the butter does not melt. I could say this ended at the bottom of a cup or a song on a jukebox or when the woman at the cashier punched the yellow ticket through its heart, but both you and I know the sun is coming up or the day is starting and this is an aubade of sorts—a parting of lovers? no, that word is reserved for dinners with wine and desserts after—the curve of a spoon, a table cloth, something that cannot be wiped away with a dirty rag wet with soap.