It Was Made For Them

Everyone has left the cafe, except an old

man who sits in the shadow

the leaves of the tree make against the electric

light. The air is dusty

in the morning, but now there’s a dew

that settles the dust. The old

man can feel it. His tree branch

fingers are honey

for the pages of Hills Like White Elephants.

Hemingway’s abortion in his and hers.

Anis del Toro stains the folds

of his brain, worried and tired again.

He sits, staring empty-headed at the cover,

running his fingers over the letters in hills

like white elephants

in time with the hum of the electric light.

He heaves, her breast,

they let the air

in that early summer evening.

Her eyes wet, he smells of amaranth and

There was a blackthorn between the train’s tracks and

He is deaf now and

She sang and he knows she sang and

Loss of life meant new life for him and

No, no. Thirty-two times he said so. Thirty-three?

Thirty factories empty their refuse in the creek.

On the parched lawns are starlings, alien and aggressive.

Now it is quiet

and the old man can feel the difference.

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