A day to drain the last of a coffee and order
a third. For the sparrow to beak a crust from his plate
and leave behind the epileptic tremor of fence wire
before bird and wire are still again.
In the same way that his marriage, ended
rather than failed, barely vibrates in him now.
And he forgets the new arthritic pain in his left knee
that woke him, that his mother has lost
her lower denture. Forgets that he’s again
forgotten the overdue power bill.
For a moment he is in what some call
the present. Yellow wall tiles
map the sun, on a power pole
someone has written FAR LEFT LIMIT.
The cries of a barbaric child at the next table
graffiti the air, a motorbike unpeels the unquiet road.
The metal stutter of knives, forks and spoons
landed squarely by a goateed kitchen hand.
That metronomic clatter. He pictures them
coffined in trays, their dull gleam
dwindling with the years, as if they might never leave.