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A Harvard Coffee Shop 

Black coffee
Warms my milky bones
Black coffee—
Ground and pressed
Sam Cooke warms my soul in this tan-toned coffee shop.
Are these African coffee beans?—
The best kind.
I listen to Cooke’s bubbly song:
“Wonderful World”
I text my beautiful black friend
I tell her she’s pretty because she’s having a bad day
Why does my arm hurt?
Pat, pat, pat –

A thought.

I look up from a thick book of black art,
I swing my white eyes to the left, to the right, to the left, straight.
Up in thought. And again:
left, right, left, straight.
My back wrenches ‘round
Whose skin is here?
Whose skin is here— in this brown bricked, Harvard Square, overpriced coffee shop?
My eyes sweep the crowd
Winter hats cover heads,
But white wrists wriggle coat sleeves too high,
And necks flash white skin left cold like a late latte
I scan the crowd again.
Every single person.
No no no no…
My desperate eyes land…
Oh thank god!
A tall, dark lighthouse
She stands……Aproned.
Behind the cash register.
Oh thank god.

My back relocates,
Milk bones swing back to peace
A flip turn of a big tan page,
Back to my beautiful black book

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