From my table, I watch them. She is bright
Floating in turquoise silks
He follows in his suit of drab.
A bottle of red sits heavy between them.
She orders another flute of champagne
Borrowing its sparkle and fizz.
He drinks Châteauneuf du Pape
I hope they have a taxi later.
The waiter takes the order
She takes his gaze and smiles.
Then, glancing at her companion
Takes another sip
Her eyes demurely lowered.
Not red, no. Too obvious and so
Elegant French manicures stroke and tease
Linger on the stem of her glass.
A green salad, to start.
Poached fish, steamed mangetout
While he chews rolls and butter
Then attacks steak, perfectly seared
Still bleeding inside.
A stoker feeding the boiler, he steams through his fuel.
Meantime she watches, raises her glass
Swallows almost nothing
She seems to run on pure energy.
Her third finger glitters, and how is it
That black carbon, heavy coal, brilliant diamond
Are made of the same stuff?
Trusty carthorse, flighty racehorse
Cannot be yoked together.
From my silent table, I watch them try
An unlikely alchemy.
One of these does not belong.