I’m not very good
at peeling away my own skin
pushing hair away from faces
feeling the moment
and grabbing hold
of the hand resting on your lap.
I’m not very good at filling spaces
as I sit next to you
in this theater.
I know, I’m not very good
at breathing naturally,
–my, it’s dark in here–
you are sitting so far away
in the seat next to me.
Sing, Muses, of the lust of Aphrodite,
who lives in the the swirling of milk in coffee,
who makes the world spin in sips of conversation
in muffled cafes, where things begin.
Sing, Muses for The Girl who caused the Trojan War,
who was fucking things up far before Menelaus
ever realized his wife was a cheating whore,
who made the mistake of asking for more
sugar in her cappuccino.
Sing, Muses of that baby goddess
who stepped on other’s lives with freshly-formed feet,
who didn’t look down to see the bronze ring
of coffee left on the table when the cafe closed
and a stranger helped her with her coat.
Muses, sing for my mother, Helen,
who grinds coffee beans with her hands
in the home of a younger man, and
who doesn’t hate the other woman,
or my father, who takes his coffee black.
Muses, sing for me, the daughter
who gives away numbers without counting
who visits many coffee shops and drinks lattes
bought by others.
Muses, sing for all the girls
who have caffeine addictions,
who leave wet rings on wooden tables.
Sing for the women with coffee stains on their togas.