Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Portuguese Dereham

The castor-wheeled cake stand in La Cascata
back-mirrored, backlit,
hybrid pool table / jukebox / pastry conservatory
sits by the wall watching us all.

Portuguese dialect ripples across the tables
the young men
swagger-smoke their machismo
the women talk
knowingly, nodding, repeating, insistent,
open palm reinforcing the wisdom, today’s truth.

My drained, stained Camelo expresso
could get refilled all day.

I devour the reactions,
relish the beauty of brown eyes
that flicker their pre-lunch ritual acknowledgment
as another steps in from the street.

The slow ballad soars on the hi-fi,
vies with the families’ July voices
and the coffee machine’s urgent noontime shooosh.

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