The Post-Rapture Diner, by Dorothy Barresi

A thought you cannot call back,

and empty shoes like

exclamation points

on every road from here to Tucson.


Who will knock their boots against the doorjamb now

and enter shyly?

Who will peel the vegetables?

Pie domes cloud over. Old sugar


makes a kind of weather in there--

webbed, waiting.

Tiers of doughnuts go woozy with collapse.

We deed and we will.

We bow to what providence will understand

and cede the rest: our lies and doubts, our human,

almost necessary

limitations. Probably I should have,


we whispered more than once, shaking our heads.

Probably. Now what’s left of the past

hangs in a walk-in freezer,

fat-shrouded, bluing.

and all we know of the present

is a spatula in a coffee can

on a cold grill, pointing to heaven.

From “The Post-Rapture Diner” by Dorothy Barresi. (Pittsburgh: $24.95, 86 pp.) . Copyright 1996 Reprinted by permission.