a lazy gaze

over the top of mug
sucking the edge
lipstick marking
sniffing the tea
steams singing nostril hairs

entered a tall dark stranger
awkward and gangly
nervous and gaunt
he wanted something
he wanted some

their eyes met
through tea steam
across the cafeteria
from door to seat
past paper readers
cake eaters
coffee stirrers

before each of them
a thought
a possibility
a want
time

she slurps tea
still gazing

he does not move from the door

a bus roars passed outside

‘shut the door’
calls a lady nearby.

he turns and leaves
and the tea drinker
slurps again.