You know that blue of uniforms, the rough warm grain
of your chair, the whiteness of cups, the monochrome
pictures of celebrities on the wall, their fez and form
like portraits of dead ancestors you’ve never known
but familiar through mirrors the nose and plane
of forehead and vaguely the angle of jawbone;
and the clientèle now, greybeard political tone:
you know that. Though neither they nor you can explain.
Of course you’ve never stepped here before, these dark wood
panelled walls, that frame of a young Umm Kulsoom!
Discussions mongrel chasing their own tail, what good
has come of all this? a couple across the room
in a romance; smoky drapes of perhaps and could.A hundred years; and you the conduit and continuum.