You sit at a Roman marble top coffee house
table in the Piazza del Popolo, the
people's place, at the terminus
of the elegant Via del Corso.
At the next table two teenagers
dip their straws into cut crystal
glasses filled with dark, bittersweet,
frozen espresso shavings, glistening granite
and mica, topped by caps of whipped cream.
Your cappuccino arrives and the world-
wise waiter brings you a copy of today's International
Herald Tribune. "Grazie tante" you nod, but
neither speak nor read. The hot cup on your table
seems to hold your attention with its hood
of milk foam rimmed by liquid sand-colored swirls.
Pen in left hand you sketch a skeleton
with hooded skull and deep sockets. The right
hand now lifts the small spoon, yes it is silver, and,
stirring, you watch the milk bubbles' filigree tower
dissolve, decompose, and, by and by, disappear.
Light fills your eyes, and light traces the
lines in your face, old, yet ageless, like bearded Nestor's who
was always wise, knowing no season, nor stages other
than the stage of the world at large where the
play must go on, and the sad stories retold that shape
past and future in memory's dream.
You know the dream and its power to link us,
swirling anguished in limitless space, to the frayed
thread of Time's Sacred Story,
that all is well for all
and forever, as we come to know ourselves as parts of
eachother in the now that lasts without end.
A jazz-band starts tuning their instruments, voices
grow louder. The evening concert at Rosati's is
about to begin. You drink your coffee slowly,
pay the waiter, and, disappearing like
light in a crowd, you take your silent
eloquence elsewhere, leaving the place you just
left behind darker and, suddenly, feeling bereft.
Tears and smiles make for
Wisdom that grows knowledge from
Laughter and heartbreak.
SCRUTARI VERUM DOCEO
I teach to search for truth and hidden causes.