Two cups of coffee

the first cup


Caffeine is my mistress.
I meet her every week downtown.
She wears the same dress
the one she knows I like best,
a milky caramel brown.
We whisper hello, then,
quietly, she slips her warm
tongue between my lips.
It is like tumbling down the slope
of a wave; the world spins on around me
unaware that I’ve stepped out for a moment.


the second cup


Caffeine is a sacrament.
It is prepared for ministry
with articulate hands.
This is the bean
roasted and ground for you.
This is the milk
steamed and poured out for you.
I take the cup, recite the creed:
I believe in the perfect blend of bitter and sweet
in the aroma that slow dances across the surface
in the fuel that somersaults me
headlong into the afternoon.
I raise the cup to my mouth.
Angels draw breath for the Hallelujah Chorus.


First published in JAAM. This poem probably cost me at least $50 in coffee to write and it earned me $20 … a year after it was published.