Jim’s All-Night Diner by James Tate


Jim’s All-Night Diner
by James Tate

Solemnity around the samovar
warms the old interlopers:

grief is momentarily rinsed
away. They wait as if for
a certain invitation.

The voices outside are
a panoply of scorn.

These yellow thumbs haul up
the hot liquid, but when
the cup’s drunk it is more

like an orphanage.
The dead letter department,
the salvation army,

the animal rescue league—
these are the only destinations.
One desires to touch

their lowly shoulders
with a plastic spoon

and change them into green rabbits
on a white Alpine mountain
their gauzy faces exhilarated.

Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

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