Every morning, I go to the same coffee shop

Every morning, I go to the same coffee shop I have since my walk was an uncoordinated waddle

Not the kind of coffee shop that has one location every ten miles and

attracts the people who ache for that burst of caffeine to give them

just enough energy to crawl through the jobs that they complain about

But the kind of coffee shop with chipped paint and wooden chairs that

creak when you let them bear your weight and warmth baked into the grooves of the red brick walls

 

The kind of coffee shop with devout customers passing through the door every morning

An elderly man with wire-rimmed glasses who never orders anything and just sits where the

window meets the wall and stares at picture frames housing photos of families he pretends are his own

A little girl with curly blonde pigtails tied off with pink ribbons that bounce when she comes

skipping through the door with her starving artist of a mother who sips black coffee and

stares at white paper while the girl scribbles on napkins with the same two crayons

A guy fresh out of college with a girlfriend who lives a few hundred miles from here

He sends her pictures of his breakfast so they can at least come close to sharing meals

 

I try not to count down the days before

The guy’s girlfriend becomes more pixels on a screen than she is human

The little girl wears down her crayons and her starving artist of a mother

isn’t able to buy her new ones

The elderly man meets his fate like the rest of his family

The warmth is mistaken for age and the chairs are seen as a safety concern and

the paint chips to the point of decrepitude

 

I try not to count down the days before

I am shoved into an unforgiving plastic seat surrounded by the type of heels that squish toes

and blazers with too much padding at the shoulder and the type of sincerity

that needs rehearsing and people who are nothing without something to complain about

 

I try not to count down the days before

I skip my morning coffee because

I would rather have no coffee  than coffee that is cold

in every sense of the word

The World from a Writer

It’s a strange thing

seeing the world as a writer

for we see things

miles beneath the surface

The girl with blonde hair

has a waterfall of

sunbeams dripping down

her back

but she doesn’t know it

Sadness brings surges of

tsunami waves and hurricanes with

sheets of rain and

every type of natural disaster

imaginable

Hot chocolate isn’t just good

(and God forbid you would use

such a bland word)

it comes in waves of

decadent chocolate so

sweet and then a snap of

cinnamon that dances around

your taste buds

It’s a strange thing

seeing the world as a writer

but I couldn’t imagine how lifeless

a world without sunbeam hair and

tsunami waves of sadness and

dancing cinnamon

would be

Why College Scares Me

I have trouble deciding what

flavor ice cream to get because

what if I take one bite of

the mint chocolate chip and realize

that I would’ve much preferred

pistachio when really

I can get ice cream whenever I want so

it shouldn’t be that big of a deal

But I’m 17 years old now and

I need to think about college and

what I want to do with my life

But if I can’t decide between

mint chocolate chip and pistachio how

am I supposed to decide my future?

What if, fifteen years down the road

I’m a neurosurgeon who’s

destined to write a best-seller

but doesn’t know it

Or what if I’m a freelance writer

who can’t pay for neurosurgery at all

They say applying for college is

“an exciting time”

but I hardly agree because

changing careers is a lot more

complicated than simply

getting more ice cream

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to the newborn

screaming and crying

draped on his mother’s chest

unaware of the momentous occasion

focused only on surviving

 

Happy birthday to the six-year-old

excited and laughing

surrounded by party decorations

eager for cake and presents

basking in the attention

 

Happy birthday to the sixteen-year-old

distant and rebellious

waiting in the DMV

ready to have some freedom

embarrassed when people sing to her

 

Happy birthday to the twenty-one-year-old

wild and wasted

in a bar with some friends

feeling like she can conquer the world

losing control for just one night

 

Happy birthday to the thirty-year-old

lost and afraid

alone in her apartment

scared of what lies ahead of her

wishing she was a kid again

 

Happy birthday to the fifty-year-old

content and secure

celebrating at her favorite restaurant

with her partner and kids

thankful for all that she has

 

Happy birthday to the eighty-year-old

reflective and thoughtful

perched in a rocking chair

wondering where all her years went

wondering if she spent them well

 

(p.s. it’s my birthday today ^.^)

Her

I see her

Eyes determined

intense

so sure of what she wants

so sure of herself

Drinking up every moment

of her precious life

Feeling everything

the frustration

devastation

happiness

love

Not settling

Not caring

Every smile so true

Every moment with purpose

Bursting with passion

wonder

Emitting confidence with every step

 

I see her

I see the girl I want to be

Sometimes, she felt like a kite

Sometimes, she felt like a kite

like the smallest push

or puff of air

could sway her

derail her

mask her true self

and change her direction

 

Sometimes, she felt like a kite

like she was useless

without the breeze

without someone

to help her along

to lift her up

to reassure her

 

Sometimes, she felt like a kite

like she was so close

to touching the sky

that she could see

the hopeful patch of blue

just before being

dragged back down

 

Sometimes she felt like a kite

like her freedom

came with conditions

like outside forces

could pull her down

like her flight

was just an illusion

 

Love in Color

I remember seeing his name and phone number

scribbled on a crumpled napkin

I remember his name was blue

with all the freedom of the ocean

and comfort of a worn pair of jeans

I remember the waves of gold

that drifted through the air

as he spoke

and his laugh

that sent light green spirals

down the walls

I remember the first “I love you” was pink

with all the whimsy of cotton candy at a street fair

I remember when we yelled at each other

maroon triangles flew across the room

I remember the door slamming behind him

there was a brown spike that pierced the air

then nothing

nothing but a handful of rainbow memories

to fill the grey silence that hung

like clothes on a clothesline heavy with water

nothing but a blue name

on a crumpled napkin