dusk, served the way you like it

Out and about on Broadway,
there are hordes of defeated ghosts,
half-chilled in the half-light
of an inconstant
and hungry season.


I duck into a coffee shop,
running head-to-chest
into a laughing giant.

He’s screaming into his phone
“Ya better get down here quick!”
and there’s a depth and timber
to the way he does it
that sets my blood and teeth
shaking like oysters in your gut
past their due date…
shaking, shaking,
the wind and dark picking up outside,
the relief of the neon making specters
of passers-by across the street.

I order a coffee
I suspect I won’t want
from a barista
who says hi
in a way
too friendly to trust.

The phone is a thin sliver of the uncertain in my jacket.

I pick it out,
consider calling
an old foe
before deciding
I have nothing to say.

Which is true,
but has never stopped me before.

Behind the counter, a faucet runs,
there is the clink of cups and saucers
punctuating shouts
about young evenings and
young ways
and the way the ball rolls
your way
when you’re not hoping too hard.

Things will get to settling down,
but not quite yet.








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