Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
In the Restaurant
By Claire Bu Zard
(From The Pagan, 1920)

OH, dark and fascinating young man,
(Sitting opposite me at the restaurant-table),
There are spots of color on your thin cheek-bones
And your eyes are deep and smoldering….
Your feverish fingers hold hopefully your glass of milk        5
And you eat your soft-boiled eggs with a relish.
But I see a black shadow at your elbow,
Oh, dark young man,
And I know the meaning of your too-red cheeks,
And of that reckless light in your too-bright eyes….        10
I know why you drink that tasteless warm white drink,
And why you suffer soft-boiled eggs at noon….
But I know, too,
Oh, dark and fascinating young man,
(Sitting opposite me at the restaurant-table),        15
That you are a hundred times more hopeful,
More passionate, more alive than I—
I,—rugged, and bursting my stays with vulgar health,—
I,—eating my juicy steak and cherry pie—
I,—already nearing the age of thirty-nine        20
And without a lover….

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