As They Ride Through The Remains Of The City
In the Vespa Café,
a dog named Peter sniffs the feet of strangers.
A cat sleeps on a wooden chair.
There's old jazz on the radio.
Surrounded by disused vehicle and coffee machine parts,
safety helmets and WiFi waves,
three women breast feed in unison.
Their babies are the beneficiaries of
second-hand americano and cappuccino --
an efficient display of caffeine exchange.
It is not difficult to imagine thousands
of similar infants, simultaneously
hot-housed by student baristas
in cafés throughout the greater London region.
Young delicate mothers brush
rust flakes from their cheeks.
The pulse of two-stroke engines
vibrates steamed milk
in circular patterns.
Hold your palm flat on the table top
to taste the approaching future.
These baby girls will grow up to be
espresso-quaffing scooter maniacs,
all chapped leather and red lipstick,
proof of nurture.
Then, with goggled eyes wide,
hair arranged in carefully sculpted vortices,
they'll face that precious wind
that rises with certainty
over the fairing.