Empty Coffee Cup

This dimly-lit café, there’s a voice

then two, then three

speaking like a broken triangle

with so much impatience.


Winter, dense and black,

crams itself into this room.

Outside, muted colors

are carried off in the night.


I have longed for winter’s death

for the dark streets

to shed their unfriendliness

to move less anxiously.


Devoid of moonlight

there are streetlamps, weak

somber and rusted,

aging along the sidewalks.


I am the one looking outside

past myself,

beyond reflections in the window

and my coffee cup is empty


and the three voices rise in pitch

one elevating higher

than the others

and full of hard emotions.


There’s no meaning to it

everything sounds abrupt

and charged with judgment,

my head reacts like a victim.


The voices leave the café

I watch them in the cold

floating through the air

their words turning to steam.


DAH lives in Berkeley, California, and has been teaching yoga to children in public and private schools since 2005. He is working on his tenth poetry book, which is due for release in September, 2020


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