Hawks at the Tupelo Diner

 Jim Zola


              I repeat myself, half-deaf, exiled
to this perpetual late night
rest stop where conversations swab me
like a wet hair shirt – third shift
junkies and window salesmen, 
my brothers in unease. 

We slump in seats like fleshy
knock knock jokes. The waitress wears
a T-shirt that reads Christ Dot Com.      
Her lips are black and she winks at me
but never smiles. Two booths over, 
a man speaks in a woman’s voice – 
Sister backed over the pup, an accident

                           Someone nods. I count the flies
half-alive on the sill, 
the beautiful moth wings decomposing. 
When the sun finally bothers to shine
through the glass, it’s like a platitude of nails.


Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook -- The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) -- and a full length poetry collection -- What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC

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