Another Coffee Shop Couple

Your drinks are gone

not ready to go

soon too hot to stay

He takes out chapstick

she props shades on top of head

slides her watch up, then down her arm

At the picnic table you sit

grasping at conversational straws

you point out facets of the building

things are maybe getting stressed

But it’s okay

The nature of human connection

often occurs at the crossroads of

observation and vulnerability

You’re jumping off

You’re stirring that soup

You’re peeking at the bits

They show themselves a moment,

you wildly take note:

carrots, corn, some kind of bird

Then they dive

and now they’re gone

ladle suddenly withdrawn

You got one peek this time around

this will have to do

Walk away now,

A world unto yourself

calm liquid surface that belies

a thousand raging curiosities

The impossible daily alchemy of

ground pepper, butter, salt

—Jodi Vander Molen


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