Café on Stevenson Street

By C.J. Renz, OP - Berkeley, California, USA - 24 May 2015



They wander into the building

each morning

like the tide towards mottled pools

at Stinson, where starfish

are glued to rock like smokers

to pillared ash trays

puffing away at the edge of life

pacing, always anxious to get back in.


Some have hard hats, even harder,

broader bodies, with hand-held voices

sputtering something important (they're sure of it!)

into the air, a staccato over the jazz

piano-music floating through the room,

trying to lean outward like this small rose

in a table vase, each of them on the sandy

shores of this vertical beach, stretching on forever . . .


a woman with auburn hair

floats by

she is white lace-foam

over this endless ebb and flow

of black leather wallets and briefcases

of the all-too-neat, the coifed

-----but empty


she is

the pull from the moon

which gives the sea a bit of