Café culture


Café society spills
Uncomfortably onto England’s
Sun-sodden streets
Pavements tangled with feet
Bags, unneeded coats
Flung on shoulders
In an ecstasy of indecision
By the open door.

Cats, not feral
Not yet, but wild in the heat
Prowl these open buffets
And dogs, too,
Winding through legs
Ready to eat
Taking up scraps
Given without fight.

Women, shoulders bare
Hair loose
Sit by men reclining
In t-shirts unaccustomed
To the open air
Wardrobe ballast
Worn brazen to meet
At these metal tables.

Eyes squint
Shaded by hand
Or masked to light
With sunglasses, the logo
Of some smarter brand
A cheap tattoo
On their brittle arms.

All unselfconscious beauty
Burnished by sunlight
Come to sip at coffees
And argue over nothing
As if it matters
Everything matters,
Of course it does,
Until the cup empties.

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