The Old Man in the Café Bazar, Salzburg by Matthew James Friday

White receding hair, face lined
in tectonic plates of sorrow forcing
layers of life inwards. He sits alone,

staring out the window. Jumps
with a start if you look at him
as if recognising a lost friend
or his doppelganger fossilising.

An elderly woman waddles over.
He erupts into life, smile explode,
laughter bubbling. His wife? No,
just a friend sitting at another table.

They exchange awareness of being
still alive, then she recedes. He sinks
back into coffee grounds. She leaves.
For a last moment he is flowing again:

smiles, a wave, then solidifying.
A tremor when the waitress arrives,
He pays, tips, smiles, crumbles.

 

——

Matthew James Friday has had poems published in the following UK and worldwide magazines and literary journals: A Handful of Stones, Bolts of Silk, The Brasilia Review, Cadenza, Cake Magazine, Carillon, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), Dreamcatcher, Earth Love, Eastlit (East Asia), Erbacce, Envoi, Finger Dance Festival, Gloom Cupboard, IS&T (Ink, Sweat & Tears), The Journal, The New Writer, Orbis, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Sonic Boom, Third Wednesday (USA), Of Nepalese Clay (Nepal), The Peacock Journal, Pens on Fire, Pulsar Poetry, Rear View Poetry, Red Ink, South Bank Poetry Magazine, The Dawntreader, We Are a Website New Literary Journal (Singapore) and Writing Magazine.