I did not board an airplane and travel to Florida and swoon and sashay through the book fair
runway was my day off from working third shift helping to keep disabled people from dying, so
Lisa and I splurged and went to an old school mom and pop diner for lunch and I had a great
corn beef sandwich on black pumpernickle and she had a good chicken sandwich, and we had
fries, and lemonade and black coffee it was all overpriced a bit but there was atonement in the air
and all the old people who eat there for lunch probably every afternoon for decades left and no
one else was there but us and it was quiet and she helped me go over some books I am judging
for a contest, good books, too many good books, and we sat there in the empty diner reading
poems back and forth, saying through words wrought by strangers into the room, and even the
waitress disappeared, and there was just us, the snow falling in steady sheets outside, the last
winter snow, hushed against the windows, and on the other side of the wall, at the bar, men were
leaning over glasses of whiskey, whispering their lunch hour away. What I am trying to tell you
is nothing more than this.
Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author or editor of 15 books including The Second O of Sorrow and All You Ask for is Longing: Poems 1994-2014both published by BOA Editions. His awards include a Fulbright lectureship to the Balkans and two PA Council for the Arts Fellowships. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, North American Review, and The New York Times. He lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with the poet Lisa Akus and their two daughters, where he works for the Barber National Institute on Autism.