Monday, March 12, 2018

Cafés & Libraries (Day 418)

Often, I dream of sidewalk cafés 
and cavernous libraries, where
old men gather to read the papers
and doze. I weigh my options 
in the palm of my hand: Peach, 
pear, or apricot? Will the fruit’s 
fragrant meat resist the pressure 
of my teeth, or will it succumb 
easily, carelessly divulging juicy 
secrets? Somewhere, someone’s 
chair scrapes the stone-cold floor. 
A spine cracks. I stretch. My spine 
cracks. A woman walks by quickly,
remarkably poised, seemingly 
unaware of her squeaky left sandal. 
Collecting my things, I ready myself 
to rejoin the sundrunk joy of April 
outside this cool, dim, ink-and-paper 
world. Fast asleep, silver-whiskers 
and unruly eyebrows twitching, 
the man to my right dozes, snuffles 
now and then, and, squinting into 
the hazy midday glare, I find myself 
wondering if he, too, dreams about
sidewalk cafés and cavernous libraries, 
where girls with leather satchels 
and ripe pears pass through wooden 
doors into the spring-white light.

(c) 2018, by Hannah Six

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images Dr. Gustav Stresemann, German Foreign Minister, sitting at the terrace of a cafe, reading the newspapers Photograph 1930 Published: ca. 1930.