The Waiter

By 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.

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