Food Poem – Men After Work by Dana Gioia


Done with work, they are sitting by themselves
in coffeeshops or diners, taking up the booths,
filling every other seat along the counter,
waiting for the menu, for the water,
for the girl to come and take their order,
always on the edge of words, almost without appetite,
knowing there is nothing on the menu that they want,
waiting patiently to ask for one
more refill of their coffee, surprised
that even its bitterness will not wake them up.
Still they savor it, holding each sip
lukewarm in their mouths, this last taste of evening.

From the

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