They won’t tell you this, but you can replace the grits with a hash brown. And when you do, they’ll still make them however you want. Jalapenos and cheese, extra crispy with ham. They won’t tell you this, but you can buy one of the coffee mugs, heavy and emblazoned with the logo. You can bean an intruder over the head with one and do some real damage, but it’s truly suited to provide slow death by the best bad coffee. They won’t tell you this, but you can bring your gun, even though you won’t need it. You saw that video of the waitress who caught the aluminum chair someone flung towards her. These people are pros. They won’t tell you this, but they will stay open till the whites of the eyes of the muddy waters come rolling down the state highway, till you can see them through the smeary, steamy windows. They won’t tell you this, but you can shoot the gun you didn’t need in the first place at the deluge, or try to beat it back with your coffee mug, but you can also crack the crust of your extra crispy hash brown with your fork, a veteran of five thousand trips through the industrial dishwasher, and enjoy it.

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Abigail Myers lives on Long Island, New York, where she writes poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Her essays have appeared in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, with a personal essay (which was also a finalist for the American Literary Review Fall 2022 essay contest) forthcoming from Phoebe in winter 2023. Her microfiction recently appeared in Heart Balm. Her poetry recently appeared in Rough Diamond Poetry and Roi Fainéant, with poetry forthcoming from Sylvia, Poetry as Promised, Amethyst Review, Unlimited Literature, and Musings. You can keep up with her at abigailmyers.com and @abigailmyers (still on Twitter).

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