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The Waiter

Andrew Warburton


Oysters slip, slide into guts.

Candles, ferns, Parisian landscapes;


and pineapple poured over crème de menthe

in lily-shaped glasses;


the Turkish waiter flutters

like a red admiral


in a perfume of memory:

the vapour of a home he once had.


His lover lies shaded, taken by fever

in a villa on the Black Sea’s mouth.



Pavements hiss. The mist



a skein that fills with liquid

and bursts.


The ferns recall woodlands,

a room of steam;


he dreams of market stalls

and sunburnt mosques,


the patch of shade

where his lips were kissed.


From Chroma No 2 (Spring 2005)