Watching his too slender fingers
twiddle the stem of a daffodil,
placed with its friends
in a clear glass vase,
- a symbol of Spring
on a cold March morning,
she spooned the thick froth
of her cappuccino, white
as innocence or death
and considered the quiet,
young American opposite
who sat drinking strawberry milkshake
dark hair flopped across his eyes.
She read the polite request
On his white tee-shirt
- ‘Troops out of Iraq, please’ -
and tried to decipher what strange
birds and beasts patterned the deep
russet Mexican rug on the wall.
They had spent the morning browsing
through second-hand bookshops.
He bought a sci-fi from Amnesty
while she flicked through pictures
of Gothic cathedrals – sitting
secure with their loose change
were tickets for the weekend's
London demo - North of Samara
1500 Iraqi and American troops
and 50 aircraft participated in the
biggest air assault in three years
as Iraq slid further towards Civil War.
In the La Ruca Café, South
American waiters listened to voices
singing in Spanish as the friends
discussed the décor and wondered
which bloodthirsty God
was sculpted in stone by the stairs.