He must be about eighty years old,

A kind face, who seems glad for the warmth

Of the crowded corridors filled with smells

Of food, luggage, and wafts of strong perfume.

He sits at the next table holding a garbage bag,

Takes out a box at a time, a wrap at a time,

Licks the crumbs, and makes a pile of paper

Next to his right hand. Some seaweed, a bite

Of rice fallen from a sushi, a piece of noodle.

No one minds him, they look at their boxes

Filled with raw fish and ginger, check their phones,

The music from the restaurant plays on.

He smells like garbage. His eyes are warm

And resigned, but the crumbs make a meagre meal,

So, when he finishes going through the wraps,

He starts all over from the stack of empty boxes,

As if opening them again and again

Will make the food appear, the way we replay

A memory hoping the rehearsal will

Divine a treasured moment, and bring it back.

When he is convinced nothing is left, he carries the stack

To the large bin that had been just emptied. 

He takes a napkin from the supply station, returns

To his place at the table, and wipes it clean.

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