The women in the café

Can I understand the

you that sits beneath

the fine exterior of

your manicured self?


I am happy to

condemn you to

everybody else

and say that the

“rich are getting richer and

the poor are getting poorer.”


But can I condemn you

as you sit petite with

your alluring Vicacci style

and personalised pieces

of European jewellery

that sing from your fingers,

together with your

startling red leather

Saint Laurent bag.


You pass a glance at me

(O those eyes!)

and a painted smile,

for you know that

I am looking and

I like what I see,


But that is the problem.

That is my problem.


Don’t I desire her

and what she is?


I look at you still,

as a man looks

at a woman strongly

but without wanting to show.


Isn’t that what a man

is supposed to do?


Your painted lips

sip the espresso knowingly,

without touching the sides,

and there is a pleasing manner

about the way the

cup negotiates your mouth.


And while all this

craving is playing out

under my gaze and

through my desire,

a homeless women

perches like a lost bird

on the side of the café,

eyes looking in,

looking at the woman,

perhaps desiring her

as much as me in

this pitiful game of

haves and have-nots

that I have entered as

the one between,


I look over quickly at

the woman sitting in the street,

half-eaten bag by her side,

half-eaten soul peering

through sagging eyes that

see the whole of

the damned world,

from top to bottom,

from where she sits.


The woman in the chair has finished

sipping her specialty Arabica coffee,

and my eyes follow

her perfect body,

her perfect breasts,

her perfect clothes,

her perfect smile,

and her perfect pose.


And from her purse,

drawn from her perfect bag,

she drops a coin that


and clinks

and clatters,

bobs and bounces

into the lap of the woman,

this creature in the street,

who look up at her in surprise.