3:27 PM 3/17/2013 jmww

Rialto's al Fresco

by JP Reese

A woman sits bent over a table as the breeze troubles her hair. A buff envelope lies torn in half on the white cloth. Contents read then crushed, the pages roll off the edge to land amid busy city shoes. Polished nails tick against a wine glass, soft fingers brush imaginary crumbs from her lap, comb through hair, tap the table. Her diamond sparkles, a fairy wing throwing rainbows into her eyes. Hand resting on the black wrought iron rail, she stares at her wedding band, slides it from her finger, drops it beyond the ironwork to the pavement. She cannot seem to place the sky. Sunlight breaks in shards through cumulous; a ray chases the white, white paper scratched with black words as it's kicked to the curb. She sits, sips cabernet, bows her head. Silver sounds of kitchen work are mummified behind the brick facade. Burdened tugs scud the muddy river. Gulls hover above, dive for crumbs. Tomorrow, the delta will flood. Windows paint her profile as she turns to catch laughter that escapes from the bar inside as a waiter backs through the doors and asks, "Ma'am, will there be anything more?" "No," she says, "I'm finished. Nothing for me."

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