Most Independent Coffee Houses

Split backs grind down;

the carobs, cremes, golds, and caramels all

Tamped into the polished silver portafilter, scalds

to liquid fetish the grounds

appropriating its hearth, its heart and soul

for consumption, now poured

into a fragile white cup,          the milky foam

slices into brown heart like a hot white

knife, metamorphose

genes of this espresso.                        They feel they’ve given the gift

privileged lactose, I watched this

barista take that portafilter, hands stained with

the browns of a moment ago, all

polished, shined his blotted, rouge mouth

his thin face opaque in reflected machine, as he dumped all

those leached grounds out, all

the richness; he stripped, discarded, the tale typical apathy:

one day was on top, they all

loved us, now no longer relevant, no longer in need,

into garbage, a tub somewhere, strung-out.

The exposed brick on wood, the minimalistic

architecture and the hip-hop of my youth trying to

escape this monument to gentrification, this shrine in their own

Image but where would they be without all of the browns grounded of this world?

The jams are consoling and only other presence of color, so I

asked it to stay.

I can feel their curiosity measuring my nose and

The crest of my lips, how’s and whys of my ashy elbows

with their eyes to say, “you are different. Maybe, you don’t

belong here.”

I count, one two three, don’t

count just

me.

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