Ccafe on the corner of 99th,
People were scared of uneasy interaction yet
needing a place for inward souls.
Coffee was served auspiciously,
hints of reverence and understated enthusiasm
the lattes even more reclusive,
hidden in the milk, almond, white, soy.
Once it burned down,
socialites took over, built a nightclub next door,
lineups of introverted rejects were seen hovering above
looking to see if the burndown was real,
searching for a ‘99th’ cafe,
solitary social places for the
searching for home.
and in the midst of searching,
eyes darted for a place to belong —
a place that could shelter the silence
bubbling up in cold bones
yearning for the calming balm of a caramel latte
or a mocha cappuccino.
their feet shuffling up the hilly blocks,
booted up, suited, and draped in Parkas or Goose Downs
where will these souls go to disappear in plain sight?
the new spot has a jukebox,
fifty cents will gain you three songs
and a two-step from the elderly man
who comes in at exactly 3:30 pm.
the artwork on the walls speak to every heart,
not just the privileged who buy venti-sized cold drinks
in the dead of Winter.
they settle on this cafe, hopeful
that the experience will be as inviting as the appearance.
an air of peace and a slither of pain
is added at no charge and everyone
shoves their faces into monogrammed Moleskines
thankful that the fire isn’t dancing
on the tabletops.
© Anna Rozwadowska & Tremaine L. Loadholt, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Thanks to Tre L. Loadholt for this collaboration, published in A Cornered Gurl: https://medium.com/a-cornered-gurl/introverts-cafe-9023129377dd