Steamy café on Morocco’s coast
A Moorish temple to Spanish decadence
in crumbling stone and tarnished brass.
European tourists scramble warily by
nervously dodge children begging money
picking their consciences clean
for a day’s bread.
A bar’s fake Picasso glares
from his perch on the wall
all pomp and toreador.
Strong drink and stronger women
are the order of the day
each addictive in dangerous ways.
Brave men drown themselves
in often rancid wetness.
African cigarettes stale the air
discoloring clothes and lungs
fetid, sweet, with a hint of clove
The café sways busily to drunken rhythms.
Patrons blink in jaundiced light, like
midnight shadows in noonday suns.
Death becomes us all.