The crinkled little half-smile on her face, higher on one side, a bit sarcastic if you didn’t know her. A three-quarter glass of rose wine on a lacy tablecloth, beads of condensation on its surface like the dew on flowers in the morning before the sun convinces them to open. A waiter walking past, ignoring by design the look she gives him. The menu folded neatly on the table’s edge.

She’ll get home a little late tonight. She’ll wait a while before she orders, and she’ll eat slowly so that when she leaves the restaurant will be almost empty. A half-glass of rose wine on the table, a dampened ring left on the tablecloth circumfrencing its base.

When she leaves, the waiter locks the door behind her. The open sign humming in the window trills and flickers for a moment before it fades. Vaporous red lingering behind the glass, for a moment warm and sultry. Blackout curtains. Food uneaten in the dumpster. Liquor scented moonlight falling tired in the alley where it sits.

Morning comes and wakes her. She keeps her eyes closed, feeling sunrise warm the textured walls of her studio apartment. Condensation on the window from the cooler air that springtime breathes. A weeping view of bricks and blinds. Coffee on the dresser, cold and drying, sweetly acrid. Rose wine on her breath, she’ll go back to sleep til afternoon. She’ll wake again. Songbirds on her balcony and clouds that say they’ll rain but never do.

#amsterdam #netherlands

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