The Café

The dull, crooked bell halted
as I swung open the glass door,
sliding into the booth,
bouncing the last scoot to
stare at the space invaders
hunched over coffee and distractions.

Slight nods eliminate the ghosts,
wearing foul weather
between shoulder blades,
resting in thoracic spines.
Chain linked bones sighed
while forks stabbed time.

I rubbed my brow, rearranged my features
hearing the menu:
Sliced laughter from a kitchen,
caught in the blade of a swinging door,
with a side order of a hiss,
poured into mugs pulled from a Chinese kiln.

Beating foam into bearded tops.
Musical slurps.
Crumpled wax paper,
pitched like oily snowballs,
hitting tin with a lyrical thud
igniting a tepid applause.

I avert my gaze outside, past the
pregnant drops, to watch the
inmates of humanity mill about.
Shirts inside out,
wearing inky reminders,
sayings erected like weeded monuments.

Fodder for the cynic,
these beaten messages withering on vines.
Tonic tongued, licking the narrow space in my mind.
A decomposed third eye.
Lack of sleep, I think.
A cat circling, in search of a sunny patch.

I soothe myself with detours.
Pay my bill with slapped singles.
Nod to a woman with vacant eyes and a capped tooth,
calling me sugar.
I slip out the door,
when the clapper releases, ringing in my ear.

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10 thoughts on “The Café

  1. ramonawray

    And I soothe myself with the endless loveliness of your words, DD 🙂 This is a very auspicious start of the week indeed – thank you!

  2. Debbie

    And this is exactly why I find it hard writing in cafes, DD — way too much to see and hear, too many interesting people to watch! Great job setting the mood here, very pre-Halloween-esque!!

  3. Don Royster

    I love this stanza:
    I rubbed my brow, rearranged my features
    hearing the menu:
    Sliced laughter from a kitchen,
    caught in the blade of a swinging door,
    with a side order of a hiss,
    poured into mugs pulled from a Chinese kiln.

    1. desertdweller29

      I want to add, this poem is fiction, representing all the detours we take to soothe ourselves. In the first pages of The Triggering Town, Hugo says, “If you believe [all music must conform to truth] you are making your job very difficult . . . So you can take that attitude if you want, but you are jeopardizing my livelihood as well as your chances of writing a good poem.” Love it.

      1. Don Royster

        There is such freedom for us creative writers. We can be any character we want. Thank you for letting me know how much you are enjoying the book. 🙂
        By the way, the poem “The Cat” I posted last Sunday was inspired by a lecture on haiku. Not sure where it came from, but I loved the simplicity of it..

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