Poem in the Modernist Manner
They were cheap but they were real,
the old bistros. You could have a meal,
drink the devil’s own red wine, and contemplate
the sawdust on the floor, or fate,
as the full-fed beast kicked the empty pail.
The conspiracy of the second rate
continued to reverberate.
Everyone wanted to get his licks.
Everyone said it was a steal.
So the girl and I stayed out late.
We walked along the shore
and I campaigned some more.
And the city built with words not bricks
burned like a paper plate.
Copyright @ 2014 by David Lehman. Used with permission of the author.