The tablecloth, napkins, and the waiter’s
jacket are as white as pure intentions
and as frayed with rewashing as plausible
stories. At two place settings they study

the menu items and see no good options.
The waiter will suggest prix fixe because
they ordered it once, and it is all they want:
It’s being taken care of and negligence.

The remains of a furtive hour slump on one
dessert plate. They brush fear away, with crumbs,
nudge fragments between dejected cups. The check
is paid in cash and this will run its course.

Kim Suttell lives in New York City and can’t decide if her favorite tree is chestnut or linden. Some of her poems reside in Right Hand Pointing, Cleaver Magazine, The Cortland Review and other journals. Please visit them at

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