4.18.17: Coffee Dates

by April Poole ’19

On our first date,
I taste my first espresso.
Harsh and bitter,
I don’t mind because I feel so sophisticated.
We don’t want to leave so we
order breakfast- lunch-dessert.

Drinking a mug of milky coffee,
in your kitchen, your mom leaning against the counter.
She’s holding a mug I made,
the triumph of ten hours at the wheel,
a slab of wet clay sliding and shaping under my fingers.
You come in and make a face at the coffee
you still don’t drink.

Tears drop into my espresso,
but you are not across from me this time.
You’re off with your hands on some other girl’s hips,
keys to my house in your pocket.
I know what you’d say if you were here,
and I try not to reach into my pocket for my phone.

I don’t know why you chose the table
in the middle of the café,
people keep brushing by me on their way to the counter,
your hot chocolate staring across at my latte,
while your eyes look at everything but me.
I curl my hands around my drink,
to keep them from reaching for your
fingers where they sit, tapping your tension on the table.

The last time I see you,
you bring two coffees to me
on my lunch break and I can’t say anything.
All I can see is that coffee against your lips,
the realization that after all this time,
I never knew you’d started drinking it.

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