Streetside Café

Passing by on the street, smell of coffee in the air,
Long legged girls, looking to pair.

Freshly shaved boys, pressed and washed,
Tough and macho, certainly not abashed.

The perfume fools the phemerones and the coffee drowns both,
The rules of attraction are confused with hope.

Spirits and cocktails make them fuzzier still,
The girls try the condoms and boys swallow the pill.

Another day gone by on the corner of the street,
Come back again tomorrow to see who you'll meet.

by Alan Bruce Thompson

Comments (5)

Wow Perfect
I perceive in this the vulnerability and nakedness of life that marriage brings to two previously clothed people. Clothed with the personas we manifest to the outside world, clothed with the masks that hide our own insecurities. Masks and filters which the intimacy of living life in the company of another makes impossible to maintain. I see the rocks as images of the toils of life, the personal difficulties that we must each bear, according to our individual stars, even in the context of marriage. The final stanza is mysterious to me, but if the game is rarely played, then in most cases the players stop before dawn or bat an eyelid or fall. Perhaps a wider context than the sexual intimacy connotation which most easily presents itself, perhaps touching upon the broader aspects of the requirements of companionship. Intriguing as a whole. Like trying to find the eye holes in someone else's mask.
Till dawn! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Could not understand where it was taking me.
How to approach this poem? Certainly not head on, not face-to-face, naked and vulnerable. Maybe armed, more for self-defense than to do harm. Obliquely. In silence or with the blood-curdling yell of a warrior? I don't think it would matter. Popa has turned the idea of a celebratory union of two googly-eyed young lovers into some surreal contest of wills. Or at least a test of will for one. A treacherous game where likely there never is a winner. What is this vision? His vision? It starts with creating vulnerability and ends with a parenthetical of defeat (or at least negation) of what's been described. The second stanza turns inward, but weights the inward turn with might be the work of a prison inmate sentenced to hard labor. The poem speaks of a futile intensity, a Sisyphean labor. I like how clean and hard the poem is. Sculptural and muscular. Impenetrable as a marble statue. An object to circle around and contemplate. Maybe a little like life. Opaque. Requiring an expenditure of effort for very uncertain results. Still, I cannot decide who the bride might be in this poem? Himself? Life? Or the other as lover? Who could be a match for this intensity?