Bernard Page 2

Her bottle was plastic, her dress was from an old Sears       catalog,

she did not know my wild eyes, switching back
and forth like an idiot's or folded like petals in a trance
so long I thought I might never wake again, saw more
within their darkness than I will, than I can tell. I babbled,
and the spit frothed around my mouth, and the words,
all fire, burned my tongue as they leapt when I woke
out of the cave and vanished beneath the sun,
like dew or weeping or kisses,
leaving only these ashes, senseless echoes,
and scars on my legs where the holy men drew blood.

Café Kabul

At Café Kabul
there is laughter all night,
and the music drowns out
the darkness of the stars.

A couple jumps up
on their chairs and dances,
a table of students
trade jokes like weapons,

an artist makes fun
of his friend the poet,
an old man sings
as the barista grins.

Nobody notices
the regulars much,
who come every day
and stay all night,

sitting in shadow,
staring at their drinks,
making no sound,
listening with strange smiles: