In a silver dress carried away in a fish's
mouth she sits in the Russian café
watching a baby at the next table.
The boy stares out the door at each person
and cloud. Then the child points at the
dress, calling it a plane, both shimmering gray.
The mother blows on two steaming peas on
her palm. When ordering, she formed her fingers
into a circle, and said "green," peas not on
the menu, the waitress not understanding the word.
And now she puts them in her hand, feeding the child
like a bird, her fingers like eyedroppers,
her tattoo, a wreath of colored thorns going all the way
around her arm, small flowers in the shape of a cross.
The man with them is entranced by the
street. Across the avenue a building is scrawled
in black & white,
the words unreadable, the letters' curves intersecting
into shapes. A parked truck mirrors
the indecipherable forms in color.
The boy yells out from his high chair,
"bye-bye bus," "bye-bye plane," "bye-bye cloud,"
gazing deeply into the outer world.
She speaks of the street's designs as blues,
the quivering of imprecise edges, as counterpoint,
her silver dress repeating the letters' curve.