Coffee For Poetry

Entry by: Briergate

21st March 2016
Coffee for poetry

Come, sit, she said. I did, fingers laced around my cappuccino,
tonsured cocoa fizzing in the foam. Expectantly, I watched her
open a tattered satchel, retrieve a sheaf of worn lined pages,
breathing in, out, inhaling the sweet warmth of her café latte.

I gazed at her, elfin frame and dreadlocked auburn hair, a
matted, discordant beauty pulsing from beneath lowered
lashes, the faint but unmistakeable scent of homelessness,
clinging like betrayal in the soft folds of her freckled face.

In silence, I gazed, drinking her in because, of course, parched
I craved her. As she read, fingers unconsciously tracing poetry
through her unwashed hair, she ebbed like steam, shoulders
drooping, melodic words spilling forth, soaking the table, me.

This was her gift, her words, though she believed that I
was giving value, a couple of pounds here and there to
buy her warmth and company, and yet, her writing filled a
void that conversation never could, and satisfied a need.

Altruism, I used to think, and yet that secret gnaw of shame
understands that coffee, for poetry, is a rape of minds, a
stealing when one should simply ask, and perhaps receive.
Blood for water, gold for dust, the taking of a hungry soul.

Forgive me, Helen, broken damaged soul with ready
words, the deep melodic cracked with nicotine, angry
quiet tracks scored across each vein. Please, forgive me
for what I took, as surely I was starving too, inside?
For me, your words were soul sustenance, a dark slow
swirl of sugar in a bitter cup, stripped bare and open,
for you were grateful, even as you shed your layers of
skin through words to me, yielding to a literary thief.
Marker 1
Marker 2
Marker 3