"Still Life" by Christopher Raley

The folded napkin is exquisite over the saucer

with a corner of green counter top distorted through the glass.

The cup is half, and steam still rises above paper and envelope.

The words in ink move, elaborate

and state intention quite beyond

any corpse of thought.

The envelope has a stamp,

and on the stamp, a still life.

Two pears, one superimposed over the other.

In the cafe

conversations familiar from the centuries are told quickly.

An empty paper cup blows past.

Feet from somewhere scurry to catch it.

On the table of a night and morning life

is a summer’s collection of unopened mail,

unmailed openings, glasses that held liquor

and mugs that held coffee.

What is seen beyond this half-reflection in the window?

Movements of flesh, business suits and cigarettes.

But the seated mind returns to the reflection.