Paul plunges his spoon into his oatmeal.
The oatmeal thrusts the spoon up and into the air.
The spoon clatters to the table and feels itself a pawn
in a struggle it does not understand.
The Washington Post sits unread, folded.
Its newsprint rubs off on the table’s surface.
Line by line, a story crawls toward the oatmeal bowl
and Paul’s downward looking eyes, but bumps into the spoon.
The sun brightens only half the table top.
No part of the table top is jealous.
Illuminated bagel crumbs dry out quicker
than their shaded brethren.
Paul’s empty coffee cup
waits upon the server caffeine delivery system.
The coffee cup wonders if it is a clone
due to all the identical coffee cups upon other tables.
The chair opposite Paul remains empty
with expectations of a guest to dull Paul’s loneliness
and telepathically attempts to steer
new female patron’s Paul’s way.
Sparrows at the table to Paul’s right
tug a piece of toast toward the table edge.
No one sits at the table to Paul’s left
but a pair of salt and pepper shakers stand upon it.
Paul sees the ghosts of once upon a time obligatory ash trays.
He sees the ghosts of ashes accidentally tapped on table tops.
He hears the long ago smokey conversations as a slight buzz.
He sips yesterday’s coffee in his cup without cream.