Take pen and paper to a bakery,
note the braided bread and sesame seeds,
women picking up their orders,
and the queue
waiting for a banitsa. Push a lev into a slot
and wait a minute for a coffee.
Outside a woman feeds stray cats
in the melting snow,
a park bench is covered with ice.
The beggars have disappeared.
Write down the words you hear at the start
of each sale: dobre den, good morning.
Taste the pastry filled with cheese,
laden with oil.
A beggar comes inside,
stands at a table; she is quickly sent away.
Look through the window:
the buildings are old, as are the trams
that ring a bell for pedestrians.
Pools of melted snow
gather on the road. The sky is white.
Take a pen and paper,
listen to the way the door opens,
the way each person is served.

Ion Corcos
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