Omelette aux fines herbes, 1970 · Susan Goodman

The omelette is a meringue
Of trussed dimensions. I am in my prairie skirt,
You in your pastel bouclé. We lunch
Near the department stores at a café blooming
With butter and whispers. Gene Tierney
Excises escargots across the room. We draw up our seats
To the starched tablecloth as if swearing an oath to make
This ours always – where herbes are fines
And pommes angled, not potatoes but slender
Iterations, where bread is aigu too, uncreaseable.
I was in a dream state then, but knew I’d keep that room
As a compartment, followed by shipboard and other
Windswept romances, while documenting
Lunches on afternoons of barely kept appointments.


It was many years after The Beatles had landed, and just about the time Jimi Hendrix died. But ladies’ lunch spots remained prevalent on Manhattan’s East Side. The one I write about still exists. Susan Goodman lives in New York City. Recent publications include Barrow Street. This poem is dedicated to her mother.