Artists came all night to sketch
or play chess with a fevered vengeance
amidst flaring tempers, fists banging
table tops, beer or wine spilling
to the hard wood floor. A queen, a knight
a trembling pawn tumbled.
I used to go there every night staying till dawn
to gather wisdom like so many coins in a jar.
Amongst the artists, the writers,
the actors, the Joycian novelist
the bearded ones, the ragged
con-men drifting in and out all
night, I saw Jesus
pull a fifty out of his pocket and
give it to a blind poet who looked
like Walt Whitman in his older years.
The tables and chairs are now gone.
The tree out back is dead.
The Cafe is dark and no longer breathes.