In a New York Belgian restaurant a woman’s coat lies open on the floor.
She has just slept through the most important meeting of her life.
An art dealer is waiting for money from Turkey
and talking heatedly into her cellphone about swift codes.
I plug in my computer and lights do not come on.
Funny how a panic can begin to creep in.
“How many times do I have to tell you: I hate asparagus!”
Again sending back her omelette, a woman remonstrates.
A mother and baby cannot stay to finish their breakfast.
“Daddy!” “Daddy!” he wails as she rolls him out the door.
They get in a cab, and, as the driver pulls away from the curb,
a van cuts him off, and another driver starts yelling.
I am left with my pain perdu (French toast).
People these days have many cell numbers.
Never mind “Daddy!” we need more breasts!
— Poem and drawing (of Evelyn, a favorite model) by William Eaton
∩ This poem originally concerned the morning of 30 October 2009, at La Petite Abeille restaurant on First Avenue and 20th Street in New York. That restaurant has now closed and life has moved on, which has led to at least one adjustment to the poem: cell numbers instead of business cards.