The Many Refills
Ordering coffee at this place
means unlimited coffee forever.
The waitress has a frown
enough to make me feel
sorrow, which I guess is easy
these days during the apocalypse.
I always hoped my death would be sudden,
but it’s taking years. Everyone thinks
the apocalypse will be sudden,
but it’s taking decades.
The people in this place
are helpless, the sorrow
like a giant storm cloud, a wave
covering us all in slow movements,
a slow-motion underwater walking
across the bottom of an ocean
that’s getting deeper the farther we get.
But there’s coffee and free refills.
Movies. I watch endless movies now
to hold back the real world.
There’s sleep and dreams and coffee cake
and waiting for the day it’s all over.
I didn’t want this poem
to be so depressing. Something about the waitress,
her frown and lost beauty still going
all the time. Hopeless, this hell
we’re all in, hopeless it seems to me.
The waitress has a tie-dye shirt on,
orange, blue, yellow, red, purple.
Maybe poetry can save the world.
Or one person’s day — which isn’t enough,
but we’re made to die. I like coffee.
I like being alive, I think. It’s strange.
JAKE HUNTER is a poet from St. Louis, Mo. He has two black cats, Seahorse and Coal.