In the café with no music
where the presumed mute barman worked,
there used to be a silence
in between your thoughts and mine,
a secret universe where we could meet.
As you made one of those thin cigarettes your ally
and smoke would curl upon the yellow sooted wall,
the contours of your face were fading in the grey.
Only a street away from school
was the place where all was possible
but nothing happened.
Your hand was close to mine,
you could have reached.
Remember how the barman stood as always,
his neck seemed broken
as he dried his glasses with that cloth,
the sunbeams with the dancing dust,
us dancing without touching without music
but the beating of our hearts so every move
was moving us apart some more.
The barman smiled and sunshine made him like an angel.
He didn’t hear the silent conversation that went on.
It used to be a place where we would be in silence between classes.
Out of the café’s window we could watch the birds fly free
across the graveyard over the old stones,
where no one lied that we would know,
we didn’t need much more at all.
This place, not ours, was our shelter
from painfull foolish loudness, laughter.
We sat in rain outside during our lunch together
or helped the barman do the dishes, and this was so enough.
Some moments after we had left one day,
the barman screamed out loud.
He fell while we were inside school. The postman was his witness.
We came to know. His death, which was the end of our silence,
although we did not know him well, meant that we had no choice but talk.
As if a rope had broken, something snapped and let all go,
we had to speak of him a while,
and of much more, we cried the rainy day that he was buried,
when we realised no people came to see him off.
We hardly knew his name but how we knew his voice.
And now his scream, that we had missed by seconds,
came standing there between us as the reaper,
the dust still dancing in the sunlight.
The café was no longer our hiding place from noise. It closed.
Sometimes I see your face in smoke
or hear your heart in silence.