It’s not the Chans de Lise here on the cement patio
With the Formica tables and plastic wicker chairs,
And the brooding gas heaters and square green umbrellas.
And the lope of a lone cheerleader late for the parade,
Her flying paper pom pom grafted to her sturdy wrist,
Does not recall for me the Cirque du Soleil; at best,
I’m reminded of lawn tractors beneath fat men with Fez’s.
And the Taj Mahal Cake Walk cover coming through
The speaker screwed to the side of the corrugated
Steel siding, under E in COFFEE, is not poetry.
Nor is the waspy drone of the single engine Cessna
Listing overhead. Nor, for that matter, is this.
And when Jean-Paul Sartre wrote in the Café de Flora,
He may have been condemned to be free, but he was not
Condemned by deals going loudly down on iPhones.
Or by the Constables’ talk of barbeques, or the
Blithe banter of sightseers strung out on their name tags.
Yet, beyond the hell and convulsions of cars,
Like this lime low-rise coupe lurching on the avenue;
And though my mind bleeds out on this tilting table,
Like an oil spill on the ocean of days;
The rain is not falling on my shoes; her eyes still
Rise kind and wise. And in the deserted lot, the open
Face of an ox-eye daisy is turned up to the sky.