Uptown Espresso, Lower Queen Anne

Uptown Espresso, Lower Queen Anne

Coffee and the Seattle Post Intelligencer, sipping…
reading how life in the city grows increasingly insular.

So this fellow sits right now, Sunday morning at
an outside table smoking, drinking coffee
out of a paper cup, coffee from a different place
down the street while his orange, yellow and white
striped trousers argue vehemently with the electric lime green
jacket he wears over a dark blue hooded sweatshirt, and
a thin layer of smirch mediates the conversation.

Cheap running shoes and whiskers complete his outfit, and
he may be into his fifties.  His face tells of new starts that
didn’t work, of bleary, pasty-skinned thirsty mornings
discovering — or realizing — a lover would not be back.

He glances side to side, up and down the sidewalk and
his hands fidget at his crossed knees while the foot crossed over
moves idly about in midair, showing a white cotton sock
between trouser and shoe.

He begins talking to nobody at all, or to the world and
suddenly he’s up and gone, walking carefully up Queen Anne
toward apartment houses he could never even apply for, and
all the lunches his mother may have packed for him,
the meals he sat down to, the conversations with friends or rivals,
close shaves he escaped, times when he didn’t, new jobs,
ballgames he played, scenes he saw, lovers he knew,
dogs of his childhood and new toys and lessons in school,
days he skipped, buddies he skipped with, letters he wrote,
cars he wore out, or wrecked, cold nights he shivered, songs
he heard or sang, kites he flew, all gone along with him,
inside the hood of that blue sweatshirt, headed for whatever
the day will give him, and instead of asking his name, hearing
his stories, maybe being spare-changed or even rebuffed
(a story in itself, perhaps)…  Instead of making that human contact
I sat at my own coffee, watching, writing this.

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5 Responses to “Uptown Espresso, Lower Queen Anne”

  1. Alley Greymond Says:

    I really like the ending to this piece.

  2. tagSale Says:

    Thanks For share .Cool

  3. inchiki Says:

    like alley, i think the end really makes this poem great. before that it’s a clever but superficial seeming catalogue of strange clothing, with a condescending air. you bring it back around and critique yourself at the last lines – i think it works.

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