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I sit on a stool
at Woolworth’s lunch counter
staring into the swirls of my steaming coffee
served in a Buffalo China cup and saucer
edged with double green stripes
(I had no interest
in my coffee)

two stools down
is a young woman
with dark hair and doe eyes.
Her presence — electric.
She parts her ripe cherry lips
as she looks up from her book
and glances at the clock.

(Same as yesterday.)

Five minutes left
before she leaves
for work.

She stretches
in her tight
white sweater
as she slides her arms
into the satin lined sleeves
of her coat
previously draped
over the stool back.

She gazes
in my general direction
with no sign of encouragement.
I should be more assertive —
My coffee is cold —
Maybe tomorrow…