Friday Poem

In Vienna [August 24]

If you have cigarettes prepare
to smoke them now
in the sunlight of this café in Vienna
where the woman at the table across from me
lets an ankle slip out of her glossy black pumps
and amid the general gasp I get a glimpse
of her pepper-and-salt pants and plain tan blouse
the liquefaction of her clothes
the distribution of her flesh
she knows I notice and she likes it
though no pass will be made it’s like being
a couple of extras in The Third Man
and the smile in her eyes when she pays
and leaves, looking back

David Lehman
from Plume Poetry