Lyric and Narrative Time at Café Loup
Has it passed quickly or slowly? the young women asked
with eerie timing—
At exactly that moment an old astonished cockroach
crawled out from the spring salad laid before me
and walked like a creosote angel across the white cloth.
The women must have seen me blanch or the waiter
sweep clean the table with a piece of fresh warm bread.
What was it? they asked,
What was it?
The most pressing questions are naive.
For example, who invented hours? Who stole the hair from your head?
Whenever I see a bald spot I want to shout a little,
in praise. Such ephemera between my salty legs—
Time is one part of the body that never gets washed.
All those moments between the neurons!
Where are you going? the women asked, though I’d hardly moved.
Where are you hurrying to?