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Poem: (Outdated) An Antique Café 

Like the Woolworth's Five and Dime
of my childhood, now steeped in sepia and must
a gesture to nostalgia and all things swell.

This is where the writers commune
to serve up words with cappuccino and sweet pastry
a veil of dust like fine chocolate over all.

Tonight's featured poet reads
a series of elegies with titles like headstones:
Daniel A. Silverman 1928–1989

and chisels the marble of living
to memory without remorse.
It just is. Everything dies.

As will my father, 1931 to ?
I can't see or bear the date, drop the pen
the sandblasted inscription already blinds me.

I find the restroom. Wet cool fingertips against
burning eyes. He was told today—respiratory infection
and degenerative disk disease. This, after

aneurisms, bypasses, defibrillators
a medicine chest never big enough to hold it all back.
Tough guy, rugged, but this pain

he can't muscle; it tears through his shoulder
down the left arm he cradles like an infant and rocks
to console the sear of fading.

With each failing I take him in
attach another umbilical where mother is
Nana and Papa, others lost to passage.

I return dust to fluid, rebirth the dead, gently
pat and soothe the sting.
I walk back to my seat, pass a crate

25¢ paperbacks: The Body Beautiful
The Men in Her Life, A Taste of Loss.

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