the main course

I keep going into cafe after
cafe
dim lights
empty tables

the same man gets up from his
newspaper
moves toward my table

I am pleased for him
I am bringing him money
I am lighting up his trade

maybe he would suicide
otherwise

I order soup
beer
wine
salad
shrimp and fries

I make a small joke
hand him my menu
as he walks off toward the
kitchen

sickening music plays on the
radio as it rains outside

the soup comes.
not too bad.
I read my paper as I spoon the soup:

woman steals baby from mother
for 3 months.
horse meat from Australia has been
served at popular chain drive in
for 1/2 year.
man kills estranged wife
3 children
and a man who was reading the
gas meter.

the salad comes by.
not bad.

then the main course.
fair.  somewhat dry and dirty.

another beer.
another wine.

the same man sits by the register.
he waits.
I am finished eating.

he comes up and lays the bill on
me.

he is without talent.
his cook has no talent.
his lightbulbs have no talent.

I leave a tip anyhow.

I get up
pay
leave

I keep going into cafe after
cafe as
the same man gets up from his
newspaper
moves toward my table

he will never suicide
he will only multiply

he will sit under dim lights
pretending to be what he isn’t

he doesn’t even hate life
he doesn’t even consider it

it’s like
you know:
eyes fingers hair legs
bellybutton butt
other
parts
could have been connected
to any inanimate finity

things get dark and we awaken
with a worse hangover than ever
before.

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