Prose Header

Hell, Cafeteria Style

by Thomas B. White

“It is obvious what they’re after
— an economy of manpower —
or devil-power if you prefer.
The same ideas as in the cafeteria
where customers serve themselves.”

— Jean-Paul Sartre, No Exit

Agonies of the dammed dispensed cafeteria-style.
At each hot bar, the doomed meekly file
by toasting their own fingers, kebab-style.

Hell is not others, but the ultimate act
of self-help; the evil here had a knack
of lowering themselves by their own bootstraps.

But the most odious fate of all
is looking into the accursed mirrors on the wall:
egos gone — vanished into nothing at all.

Copyright © 2006 by Thomas B. White

Home Page