Passing the place where the café
was once, I smell strong coffee
where no coffee brews in this street
of commerce and business; the café
gone these fifty years, a few tables
with red and white checkered
tablecloths, leathered cups of dice
on each to see who would pay
the bill amid murmured conversations,
muted laughter, biscuits made
from scratch brushed with butter:
businessman’s breakfast. A car horn
blasts; a delivery truck blocks
the right of way. The smell of coffee
lingers in the humid air.
Photograph: 400 block of Gravier Street, Central Business District of New Orleans.