Flirtation outside cafés


On the terrace where I kept my seat,

As he lingered there, two fingers on the lip

Of a coffee cup, the slow game of sweet

Imagination played. Dark swathes of rogue,

Rich hair; his face a monument to his

Purpose, concentration, as he read

A novel at the café’s outside seating.

Two fingers, on the lip: a motionless

Instruction, a pose most apposite

Whilst I savoured my cigarette, some seats away.

The truth-or-dare of watching; a staring game

The rules of which we’re only now discovering.

There is no more exquisite pleasure, than

The promise of these flavours, savoured here –

That face returns: and so I place my wager

In the inhalation of smoke, and taste of coffee,

Draining my cup. I hold the moment finely,

Readying myself for our discussion.



I think we’ve all had the pleasure of seeing, entirely by chance, a beautiful person at a café. Isn’t it just divine, to waste a few minutes drinking down their image, half-flirtatiously; subtly enjoying the view? And then, of course, you go your separate ways. You finish your drink, gather your coat and continue life. This is an important a part of the process: crossing paths briefly, and enjoying that brevity. 


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