Café Charmant

The withered rose in the mauve

Porcelain vase, petals strewn on the

Table for two,

She sits alone, ginger-head

Slightly tilted towards the back,

Adroitly holding the cigarette holder.

Thin wisps of smoke rise

And mingles with the red haze

From the Chinese lamps,

Hanging limpidly from the ceilings,

Illuminating as much was necessary.


She looks across the table with

Her dark eyes, beckoning those who

Wished to be enslaved willingly.

She preys on them, and tames them;

For there was no mortal who,

Looking into those eyes, escaped from

Being mesmerized.

The coffee in the china cup

With green sea weeds, had

Turned cold.

She stirred almost mechanically

As she lifted them to her lips

Coated with red lipstick.


The black silk of her evening dress

Rustled noiselessly, slipping

Delicately from her

Muslin legs.

The ladies on the other side

Whispered inaudibly.

The gentlemen by the glass door

Stared unabashedly.

While she, unconcerned, stared

Into the vicinity.

The cigarette, burnt out,

Was disposed into the china

Cup of weeds.

Organ music floated;

A sixties’ tune, maybe…


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