5. Summer, 1954*

in Tognarelli’s coffee shop she sat & waited
for her friend & cappuccino,
red lips & nails,
and beautiful to behold;
handbag by the chair,
white cotton gloves together folded spilling out.
and our hero spies his chance
and, chancing his arm,
relieves her of her lace-trimmed favours
and, cloakroom-hid,
deflowers their delightful virgin folds
daring all,
stoops unseen amongst the throng and
replaces them as before
and settles to finish his espresso with a sigh
and a cigarette