The View Café
Jonathan Johnson

Stream of rain off metal awning,
rain like sparks on the Spokesman Review box,
rivulets down the dirt lot.

A blue pickup crosses left.
A silver Honda crosses right.

Their mist trails swirl and cross.

A drop, clear a convex moment, falls
and the shrub branch recoils then bends again.

Hum of wet semi tires, then the semi,
amber running lights on.

The head waitress’ husband
is six days into his suicide.

Everywhere, in here, prayers multiply like silverware
tossed in a plastic bin.

Through an opening in the jackpine across 95
there is a slate lake. Henrey’s in blue neon,
Draught in red neon, backwards on the glass
on the dusk above the water.

Past the lake, three ridges.
The first is evergreen peppered yellow
with tamarack,
the second a single,
more distant green, the third
a mere shade of the water of sky.

previously appeared in Prairie Schooner

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