Sometimes, in life, the plot begins to sour
so much that you find yourself collapsing
to simple kindness. There, alone,
your pupils primed for anything but
the most all-consuming dark,
you fall to the untouchable feet
of your benefactor and squint
into his hot, merciful light.
The morning after you told me
I was no longer worth any
of my burdens, I dragged my ass
down the block for a cup of coffee
and a snack whose specifics
had yet to be decided.
Listless and empty-eyed,
the kind that goes away after anything
over a half hour’s sleep, I entered the room
like a bad smell. I had an agenda
of the worst sort: to be
petty and unknowably hard.
I walked up to the counter
and ordered a macchiato
like I had somewhere better to be.
The barista asked for my name
and I replied without looking up.
“With a C or a K?” he said,
and I answered shortly
as if he should have known better,
feeling a twinge in some forgotten place,
like a phantom limb.
A few minutes passed, and I left
with my cup and nothing else, too scared
to peek at his eyes. “Have a good one,”
he called as the door shut behind me
and I chugged, letting it burn me
the entire way down.
I got back to my apartment,
and I wept.