The Conversation

Marc Awodey

You sketched me
at the coffee house,
we absently spoke of drawing

and literature.
I took exception to the manner
in which you drew hands,

I said-
you make them look like machines.
Citing Ingres, I plotted a continuous line.

You agreed.

Critically eying the young
who hovered near decorative book stacks,

I muttered a condescending remark
about nose rings, poets, and tattoos.
But you refused to objectify or malign,

saying- such is the nature
of this establishment and of youth.
I agreed.

We nodded heads
and silently stroked socratic beards
as the artifice of conversation

strolled for awhile longer, into longer
pauses over a couple of dollars worth
of cooling Ethiopian harari.

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The 2River View, 1_4 (Summer 1997)