The dull, crooked bell halted
as I swung open the glass door,
sliding into the booth,
bouncing the last scoot to
stare at the space invaders
hunched over coffee and distractions.
Slight nods eliminate the ghosts,
wearing foul weather
between shoulder blades,
resting in thoracic spines.
Chain linked bones sighed
while forks stabbed time.
I rubbed my brow, rearranged my features
hearing the menu:
Sliced laughter from a kitchen,
caught in the blade of a swinging door,
with a side order of a hiss,
poured into mugs pulled from a Chinese kiln.
Beating foam into bearded tops.
Crumpled wax paper,
pitched like oily snowballs,
hitting tin with a lyrical thud
igniting a tepid applause.
I avert my gaze outside, past the
pregnant drops, to watch the
inmates of humanity mill about.
Shirts inside out,
wearing inky reminders,
sayings erected like weeded monuments.
Fodder for the cynic,
these beaten messages withering on vines.
Tonic tongued, licking the narrow space in my mind.
A decomposed third eye.
Lack of sleep, I think.
A cat circling, in search of a sunny patch.
I soothe myself with detours.
Pay my bill with slapped singles.
Nod to a woman with vacant eyes and a capped tooth,
calling me sugar.
I slip out the door,
when the clapper releases, ringing in my ear.