A plate, a shatter, a white forest, she is smooth, cold, and fragile.
Sunrise barista, she gets embarrassed when she talks. She is used to living in her head. As she hands out a latte, she is out of touch. Songs whispering into her ears, smells drifting into her nose, she is haunted by a lover from long ago. I can feel every burn from each spill whenever I get close to her, leaving on me a tea ring that doesn’t quite burn, a soft rain stain from a storm of hot tears many years ago.
Sunset writer, I notice ink stains on the sides of her hands from the night before. When she wakes up, she finds the pen that she lost in her covers. Her customers are characters. She watches the shake in someone’s winter-dry hands as they count dimes on the counter for a double espresso. Between two hands about to touch: a mutual shake, the invisible tension wire of human frailty.
The smell of coffee lingers in her hair. And to fall into the river was to say that I fell in love with her. Tripping over the strands of hair that strayed from her ponytail after a long work day meant I was tripping over my words every time I spoke to her. Ice thinned on the water, and I fell right in.