Salt and Pepper

He’s bent over the counter,

his back arched by time.

He’s smiling, broad,

his face cracks into a million smiles.

He’s singing a creaky old love song

It has such lonely words.

Fingers smear the glass

with a white, faltering grip.

He has no fiery ambition,

no mastery will to live,

no kindness born of affluence,

no happiness to give.

He’s leaning back on the wood,

it’s convolutions planned,

moving back, and forward

and back. And forward.

The coffee scalds his tongue,

like nitrogen that’s cold

giving heat, taking heat

it’s all the same to him.