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Café Borges

In Café Borges on Bankastræti
everyone has brown
eyes.

Here they once sold pantyhose–
says Simone–that forked like paths
in two, even three.

Yes–says Tiziano–lovers fought here
until someone laid a
sword
between them, naked.

Fires are burning.

In Café Borges on Bankastræti
everyone has stubble and a smile.
You have the widows and the widowers
who slurp soup spiced with Fáfnir’s-grass
and add in adages
with forks
that fork like pantyhose.
At a corner table a man in a turtleneck snores.

Up and down the hill the dead pass, patting the café wall.

I am married to the owner. We have four children.

© Sigurbjorg Þrastardottir. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by T. Zachary Cotler. All rights reserved.