365 Poems – 186 Coffee First Thing (Rough First Draft)
Coffee First Thing
Would you please unbuckle my limbs?
I want to ask. I dread to think
what I look like to you.
Meeting for coffee, early morning,
I didn’t want to say that I’m
not yet born again. I’m still crabby,
like a baby who still wants the womb.
You order espresso. It’s what
men drink. I order the one with
the most milk.
You make another circle around
our table, muttering about
napkins, sugar, sweetener.
I tap fine, sweet white powder,
afraid what you’ll think
if I tell you I’ve been off it
for three months and four days.
That would be a signpost for
my madness, and the exchange
would turn, and become difficult,
like walking uphill in the wind.
I’d quite like you to be stroking
the top of my thigh. I’d like clear,
short, beautiful moments, where
we don’t talk, just go straight over
each others bodies, like silk scarves
across and under the wheels of a car.
It’s you who stammers first,
direct your body away from me.
It’s you who makes for the door,
espresso dark, untouched,
stinking in its tiny cup.
I find you crouching, outside,
your back against the coffee bean
stencils on the window.
My bravery, you mutter
shrunk to the size of a pin head.