It suddenly struck me as I sat in my familiar chair
towards the back of the white buzzing café,
a hazelnut terzetto staring up at me,
it struck me what Magritte was trying to tell us
when he painted “This Is Not A Pipe” below
the dark strokes of a brown bowl and black stem,
a slight glare the only sign of life beyond it.
He wasn’t pointing out what was real and not
with a wave of disdain to the perplexed viewer
but, rather, was underlining what most of us are
too frightened to admit, that everything is what
we make of it – or not – and objects have no
preference as to the labels spectators cook up.
And I will leave you with that slippery nugget,
close the spinach leaf I was scribbling in,
take a last sip of the faded photograph before me
and step out into the foggy rush hour bee hive,
this life vest slipped carefully into my coat pocket.