There should be storms, not the calm, still sky.
There should be storms, and dark castle walls.
This faded coffee shop, half empty, in the shade,
Is not the place to watch your life crash down.
I wait for you, and you are late again.
In the corner, reading a cheap magazine,
A woman droops and, trying not to yawn,
Turns the page to new adulteries.
I check my phone, there’s nothing new from you,
Just half an hour wait and waiting still.
I wonder if you know what waits here, crouching,
In this faded, shaded, tired coffee shop
Two girls behind the counter, talking low
Of boys and school and last week’s hair.
They bend the paper clip from next week’s hours
To try and free the block in the machine
They sound so young and earnest, taking care
Warning each other about the burning pipes
Promising to be there at the club
And one will lend the other their new dress
The woman yawns again and leaves the place
Out into the bright and shining mall
Past the old rabbi playing careful chess
Facetiming with his friend in Tel Aviv
The two old men talk with kindness, they are kind
And measure the words they use across the miles
What words can I use to you so close
When I stare across the table at your face.
The old rabbi taps his hearing aid and shouts
A gentle, kind goodbye across the miles.
Packs up his chess and leaves into the mall.
I am reading the left magazine
The coffee shop is shutting with the mall,
The sun is draining down the peaceful sky
There should be storms. I text you, ‘It is over
Do not contact me again. Goodbye.’
Another blast from the past, first published in 2016