Sitting alone in this café,

I find unexpected warmth

in the company of

so many strangers.

I recognize these primal embers,

that still emanate from us,

come from the ancient prototype,

and even now we

seek to huddle in packs

in sheltering caves.

Are we not all like a


holding out a coat for the other,

or saving a seat

for friends who

come in from the cold?

Warm seats, warm hearts,

that speak no evil,

nor bear any grudges here,

talk in respectful tones

amidst the reassuring

scent of coffee and

human skin.

It may be that

cities shatter elsewhere,

raging mountains

spew their spleens on

innocent villagers,

and ignominious people

flick lethal switches,

even as joy puckers

the squinting faces of

girls in

innocuous cafes.

But let’s just

lean into this plush embrace

of living kindness,

this gentle, guiltless clatter,

shuffling of chairs

and these pleasures we take

mocking the

infinite,  stony universe.

For it clamors at the border,

and disdains the thought

that there is any such thing

as refuge.