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Michelene Wandor, from The Music of the Prophets: The Resettlement of the Jews in England, 1655-56

Nineteen

  This is the story of two people
the story of two peoples
the story of two men

  Menasseh ben Israel
and Oliver Cromwell
sit in the coffee house
as ordinary as
a merchant banker
an insurance underwriter
a broker
a musician
a journalist

  the coffee house is a place where Mr Locke and
Mr Purcell may meet, to hear Italian and Spanish songs

  a small coffee cup
delicate bone china
thick black Turkish coffee
from the Levant via Venice

drink the syrupy brew
turn the cup upside down
prophesy your fortune