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Sometimes Voltaire’s coffee repents
into tepid water, or halfway to tea,
often backsliding to a mug
of ice cold beer.

Regardless, he drinks
deep when parched,
or sips the changing
colors, blurring, blending
a liquid kaleidoscope.

His love has come
to drink and dine. So
have the bicyclists,
dew rags with leather,
cigarettes with pints
of imported beer.
They leave – Le Tour
de France, with Lance
to lead the pack, fallen back
up through the cracks,
half respectably.

The wench, badly named Brette,
refills tea with lemon
our now, glasses, sugary.
These two women feint a dance,
pluffing their plumes in jest.

His love leaves as the cyclists
finish Le Grand Tour,
engines muffled with none
the wiser from the road
trip to nowhere.

He asks, “Beyond that curtain there,
what manner of freshness is felt?”
“Merely bragging on my new brassiere.”
Glancing from his swirling
mug, “Quelle couleur?”

“Puce.” Flashed, spoken,
retreating to the swirling
crowd.

Cup emptied, muddled, sugary,
The stream snatched up
by a blue heron, chuckling
it all down
like a gamefish.

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