Tonight I ventured out and made my midnight way
To my favorite, little, friendly, shadowed, dark cafe
Perchance to meet a poet there, with nothing left to say
Perchance to meet an angel, who is lost and gone astray
A seer who knows tomorrow won’t be just another day

But, everyone here is in disguise
Unwilling to meet one another’s eyes

The couple in the corner have been to see a movie
Neither one of them liked it
But, for reasons completely different
They are arguing and will not stay together for long

More intriguing is the couple by the front door
Her back is to me but she wears her hair like mine
It is the same color as mine
His face is handsome and lively
He seems very pleased
Their hands meet across the table
They speak in low tones, like secret lovers

The two men by the window
Wearing suits and neckties
Are much more animated
One of them believes
Women should never have been given the vote
The other believes the aliens
Who have been sending us crop-circles since 1675
Are poised to rescue us at any moment
They’re voices keep getting louder

The cat in the alley has begun to wail
Louder than the necktied men
She is howling to announce
She has accepted a mate

There is a young man in the corner
Who has been sitting alone
Quiet as a ghost
Shuffling cards
He looks up suddenly and meets my eyes
I look away quickly
It strikes me as odd that he looks so much
Like the older man by the door
Holding his lady’s hand

I suddenly wish I had not put on perfume
I wish the room was not so bright
Was lit instead by candles
And, I could hide in their shadows
I wish my thoughts were strong enough to blow the candles out
And, I could hide in the dark
I wish the taste of bitter-sweet chocolate did not remind me of love

I am surprised by the clatter of my spoon
Falling to the floor, when I reach for my purse, to pay
The necktied men have fallen silent
After agreeing we never could have gone to the moon
The young man, quiet as a ghost
Has put away his cards
And, is reaching for his wallet
The woman whose hair is just like mine
Turns around and looks right at me
She looks like I might look
Twenty years from now

I am finding this very odd
I turn toward the door
The quiet, young man is already there
He is smiling and holds the door open for me

We pass the alley cat
Purring now, beside the door

The young man walks with me down the street

As though it were the most natural thing in the world
Because we are going in the same direction

At the corner he pauses
And, turns toward me
But, even before he says a word
I realize everything in my life has changed