The person at the table behind me
is doing that thing
that people do
when they are nervous,
where their knee bounces
over and over
very quickly.

The table where she is sitting
is covered
in a draping blue,
plastic tablecloth
that falls across her lap
so that each time her leg leaps
it scrapes across the fabric
making a crinkling noise
similar to the zip, zop sound
that parachute pants made in the 80s,
but faster,
to mimic the intensity
of her anxiety.

When I was growing up,
the pastor’s son
used to say,
that if your knee bounced like that
you must be thinking
about sex.

-Maggie Brewer