With one glove off and one glove on she sips
a coffee under indeterminate glare
of silence, and with downturned red-slashed lips
she tastes the savour of the empty air.
No saviours here ‒ all we can do is stare
and spend our nickels though the lonely night ‒
no mumbled platitudes can ease her cares,
no cheap fast-food will set the world to rights.
But morning brings a clarity of light,
an emptied purse, a single coin ‒ she flips
her future into flux, way out of sight
of tired minds and paint-by-numbers scripts:
with one glove off she disavows all art,
with one glove on she seeks a hidden heart.
Automat - Edward Hopper