Breakfast at Lucile’s
It must be the old hippie in me:
camouflaged in a sports jacket
and whistling a show tune,
when I’d walk past beat cops,
carrying a lid to a friend’s party.
But entering our favorite
breakfast place, and seeing
three cops forking in eggs
and laughing at a story
one of them has just told,
the old fear bubbles up,
and I’m holding an ounce
of Panama Red, or that crumbly
Lebanese hash I loved,
the aroma beckoning
like the arms of a belly dancer.
I can’t stop glancing over,
fixated on the nights I prayed
their brothers wouldn’t suspect
I was high as the pigeons roosting
on the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge.
“What’s wrong?” Beth’s forehead
creases concern over her menu.
And as quick as I got stuck
in that time loop, I snap out of it:
old enough to see the police as allies,
and anyway, they’re decades
and decades younger than me.
©2021 Robert Cooperman All rights reserved.
Robert Cooperman’s latest collection is THE GHOSTS AND BONES OF TROY (Aldrich Press), which posits what if Odysseus came home at last, but with a horrific case of what we’d call PTSD.