augury doggerel

Sunday, February 27, 2005


A tall skinny Frenchman in black but for red gloves gets coffee and cheesecake for himself and his companion. He counts his money out with long red woolen fingers. It is cold outside but not cold in here. His companion is just like him but short and not skinny and without red gloves. But he is also French.

France is something I have read about. They speak French there, for instance. They speak French here, too, in a corner with red gloves and without red gloves, and nibble cheesecake microwaved warm on the recommendation of the slinky woman who manages this place.

The slinky woman is slinky from table to table. She slinks to a standstill and slinks standing still.

The other woman has no intention. She would not slink for you or for me, and it is no matter of dimensions. Here she comes across the room, down a step, with a tray of lighted candles that barely flicker. This is the wind-tunnel test in the School for Ladies, an experiment in fluid mechanics at the bra factory. I try to think how to describe her face and throat and breasts lighted by a dozen candles.

The tall skinny Frenchman lifts his fork in a red glove as she passes and looks the other way.


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