Today's poem is by Cynthia Hogue
Light fends the sky's teal,
sun haloing the domed opera house. Foreigners
meander past not looking up
but sideways, talking, pulling
open the door of a cafe lit in ghostly fluorescents.
They gather for a bad meal they call good:
To cluster around the horseshoe table
with mottled Formica and sleek, plastic seats
makes them happy. Bump elbows.
Feel silly. The waiter watching
their mouths order nods
an understanding he does not possess:
Aliens loudly eating, chewing
like cows, food unswallowed as they talk,
gesticulate. Since the revolution the waiter
has observed with exacting scrutiny
the conduct of the rich who visit
his newly visitable country. Unawareness
crinkles through their money,
their bluest eyes lined in kohl
or arched in white fur like,
what do they call him,
They fork words. The waiter dabs
a linen napkin each time he fills a glass.
One is thinking, Follow music
into sense. A second, Happiness
is not a justified response to life.
The third, Attentiveness
is the natural prayer of the soul.
Her face in the mirror smiles
to see blue bags beneath her eyes
disappear in the act of smiling.
The waiter reads droplets
in her glass, amethyst or violet,
clips, No more. We close. Good
night. To him we are coffins.
Copyright © 2010 Cynthia Hogue All rights reserved
from Or Consequence
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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