The last man of Paris

there is a thrill I receive
watching a woman stir her espresso
the glancing tilt of her head
her dreams
resting heavy against a paneled wall
who knows the burdens she’s had to carry
the dramas buried deep in her hair
for a moment she is the stirred steam
of a drink, my thrill
crawling softly up the spine
lifting up my buried head
to find her no longer here:
the steam we share
captures a second woman
sculpted by time
occupying a window
she works her salad as a painter
mopping up colors
sight pigeon-holed
enrapt by ceramic limits
such totality of hunger
pleasuring me, a little longer:
and like the other, eventually
across the threshold
into the scuttlebutt
with peoples anonymously catching on
the debris whirling up
in taxi exhaust
cyclists, cane walkers, children on the rope
pushing and being pushed
til out of the frame:
indoors, I remain
with the last man of Paris
he cradles his chin with beer
bubbling something sweet underneath his shirt
a mournful solitudinal
hurt
who whispers in his beard
the joke of the age
eroding everything once held dear
there is laughter
there are moistening tears
pressure has broken
outside
it rains

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