Van Gogh’s Cafe

van gogh's cafe

Let’s meet at midnight, in midsummer,

At the table at the end of the platform.

I will be wearing a yellow beret and  sporting a briar cane.

You will be wearing a blue vest and a skirt that twirls.

You will tell me in your fluent French

That you are tired of being ambivalent.

I will remove a gold ring from my toe

And mispronounce the words J’t’aime.”

You will say the French word for “maybe.”

I will show you the key to my room in a small hotel nearby.

You will thread it to the chain around your neck.

I will leave a ridiculous number of francs on the table,

And we will teeter off down the cobblestone street.

Meanwhile, Van Gogh, behind his easel, is finishing his painting.

“What happened to the couple in the foreground?” he thinks.

“I hope they’re as happy as lovers can be.

Meanwhile, their blue and yellow are just right for stars.”


— Michael Lopes


for Kim, 2001

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