Ode to a coffee shop

three men cluster round
a scrabble board
a pocket dictionary
filling the air with
silent word bubbles
“lapidary” “ferrous” “quatrain”

students type intensely
on laptops
their backpacks
spilling books and notepads
onto 70s end tables
fraying mustard sofas
un-castered brown velvet

couples with
well-mannered children
sip coffee while
crayons turn their world

bulletin board wall
advertises apartments
plays and yoga
parking spaces
peace marches
next to
a mirror screaming
“Ice Cream”

turquoise paint
old elementary school
cinder block walls
interrupted by pastels
and multimedia
and once a
series of oversize comics

turkey burgers
veggie chili
bacon, eggs and toast
but no beef
coffee, of course
and glass jars of tea
labeled in neon
pink, green, orange

above the napkin holder
“save the trees”
beneath chalkboard menus
college girls
punch the register

young men with beards
and tie-dye t-shirts
circulate among the tables
“delicious chicken salad”
“bagels and lox”

tables shift in
a never-ending jigsaw

in the cherry red
ladies room
when you sit on the toilet
a small mirror affirms
“every step you walk
is a random act
of fine-ness”

notes of
jazz, metal, rap
Mexican ballads
Indian strings
one evening Mozart
floating over two women
signing furiously
laughing mutely

I pray that
is my favorite coffee shop
where you drink
eternal cups of tea
and each time you reach
into your bag
you find a different book

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