Writing Prompt 1: “What is your favorite work of art? What do you love about it?”


after the nighthawks have gone

after the nighthawks have gone
there are seven, maybe eight, stools
and bare countertop that remain.
a straw wrapper lies on the floor,
three grains of sugar are strewn
on the counter like long-parted islands.
(the counter is chipped in corners,
but no one has noticed for years).
a single fluorescent bulb shines,
but no one is inside, the door is locked.
yet the bulb shines.
like harbor lights on the abandoned pier
in Palm Beach in the dense fog of night.
like the street like on forty-eight street
as it approaches five in the afternoon.

what is it about these lights that draw men to them?
love, hope, vainglory?
longing, lust, loneliness?

perhaps men and tides are quite similar,
and the acidic flickering of such lights
is not to be temping at all,
but part of the night, the day,
and something less poetic then
a shuttered shop on a chilly, shadow-laden street.


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