Apr 16, 2006


Third floor, just past 4, at the Palais cafe:
The scent of minted tea, and in the plasma,
Amateur men's basketball, from Casa;
Along with some empty glasses,
A chattering heel.... The waiter disappears below.
Over there three men huddle by a window,
Looking down on the street, pointing.
Otherwise, nobody, save a cleaning lady,
Seated by water bucket and mop.
Veiled and ageless. As though waiting
For a 19th Century English portrait painter,
Who will look around and note the fake tree with plastic boughs,
The old plaster rock, the silver yellow fish,
hanging dead in an algae-dark tank,
And the startling colours of a high-pitched laugh.

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