Monday, March 27, 2006

Café Lutecia

Here, in this corner, life happens.

Here, beside the dusty faded magazines
of a hundred covers ago,

Here, beneath the posters of a homeland
missed so much it’s been forgotten,

Here, at this table of fading stains
by the naïve declarations of eternity
etched into its face,

Here, did I stop loving you?

Here, where a hundred stories
must’ve begun before,

Here, where a hundred mornings
stumbled across the threshold,

Here, where they draped the mantle
with pictures of what it was used to be,

an etching of a city
that no longer wants to be etched,

Here, in this kitchen where she frowned
over the smell of another place,

where she saw in the face of the eggs
another future gone by,

Did she here ask, Why?
a hundred times before?

Did she, too, stop loving him
a hundred closings ago?

Did she, too, look at those walls
and wonder what else might have been?

What that bridge must have looked like
from the window of another room?

Did she think of why she stopped collecting
mugs, and plates, and figurines?

And how long after that
did it take for the dust to collect?

Did she notice the first time
they looked just like the day before?

And the first time the faces coming in
all looked, like those getting out, alike?

Did she see it like that first wrinkle
that didn’t go with a good night’s sleep?

Like the first time she admitted
it wasn’t the light making that hair look white?

Here, when they turned over the sign,
she must have sat, hands folded in her lap,
like a hundred laps before,

Here, she must have looked out
at the street falling asleep,
at the night gathering
like dirt behind her ears,

Here, she must have wondered
if there’ll be another…


katy said...

arch my dear, this is really sad and really beautiful. and it's get an extra visual layer for me, having sat in this particular cafe for all of 5 minutes. another little bit of heartbreak for breakfast. thank you for this, for writting today.

arch.memory said...

Dear, you are too sweet for thanking me for writing; I am the one who has to thank you for being my only commentator (not to say reader!). And you can always count on me for "heartbreak for breakfast" here at Heartbreaks'R'Us!