At the Street-Food Festival

They arrived together at the food festival,

but not obviously connected—a certain

mutual energy, perhaps, but unaccompanied

by physical gesture. Mingling with the lively

crowd on a chilly but cheery Saturday,

they have strolled the open-air corridor

of brightly decorated food trucks and

chosen their cuisine, settling down to lunch.


The slightly sturdier one, bristly-haired,

dark-blond, but with brighter highlights,

wearing an olive hoodie over faded jeans

and grey leather high-tops, leans forward

slightly at the end of the folding table,

munching his sandwich, at a right angle

his sleeker, leaner, darker-haired companion,

leaning back in his X-shaped chaired,

dressed in a steel-blue jacket over

a black T-shirt, his dark-jeaned legs crossed,

feet in grey socks and grey low-top sneakers.

The eat, they converse with familiarity,

but their level of intimacy remains ambiguous.


Their lunch more or less finished, they

still sit at the folding table covered

festively but cheaply with a blue-and-white

checkered plastic cloth, but the blond

has moved from the end and now sits

beside the dark-haired one. sharing

draft beer from a big plastic cup,

and though the still refrain from

overt public displays of affection,

their demeanor clears up any

ambiguity, and even a distant

observer can feel their mutual

affection, take pleasure in their

enjoyment of each other’s company.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper