Prompt 23: Coffeehouse

The coffeehouse had been my hub ever since I’d moved downtown;
its dark walls were covered by burlap coffee bags, and, upstairs,
a large reproduction of Robert Doisneau’s kissing couple
stood over an old sofa where younger kids took over.

As long as I had my coffee and my view of Ron, I was content.

Ron was a mystery to me, a smiling man of mystery.
Seated at the corner table by the back door- the more convenient for cigarette breaks –
of the coffeehouse, he drew large pencil drawings on nine-by-fourteen sheets
that he stored in an aluminum briefcase with others, his growing book.

I tried shrinking under my laptop along the north wall,
trying to not stare at him and averting my eyes every time he looked up.
His angled face looked down, absorbed by his work,
but each time he raised his gaze, it seemed to be to find me.

Over months, we gravitated to each other’s tables.
Ron described his project, a comic book, as I watched his tan hands gesture,
noted the dimple in his lean face when he smiled. Unbeknownst to either of us,
our barista, Jack, had anointed us as a perfect couple if we got together.

“Melron,” another of the baristas calls out when he sees us enter.
It’s still our hub, though now we sit at the same table,
as we chat with others who have made the coffeehouse a part of their day,
a place to reconnect with each other over a cup of coffee.

5 thoughts on “Prompt 23: Coffeehouse

  1. Fantastic prose. I love coffee houses and you created and captured the feelings and atmosphere beautifully from the posteres on the walls to the people slumped over with their coffees. Beautiful and well done! This drew me in and left me wanting more and to know more about the people in the coffee shop. Fantastic!

  2. Thank you, Ingrid. I just woke up an hour ago, and am trying to read all the other poets this afternoon. There were so many good poems written yesterday. This is the second 24 hours: Reading!

  3. What a beautiful narrative! As I read, I could sense the two arcs (one for each of you) spreading and moving through the coffeehouse and then coming together. You have a really deft touch with character (both yours and his) and this is a beautifully atmospheric piece which asks to be performed!

  4. Thank you, Anne, for another thoughtful reply. I felt this one could have used some pruning, and that I could have used stronger word choices. But, your response to it make me see where I could make it stronger.

  5. And?
    That’s all we get? You sit at the same table?
    You draw me into your perfectly crafted meeting of two people, drawn!!! to each other by the magical forces of magnetism, the eternal story of noticing someone is also noticing you, a happy joyous ending if there ever was one, and you demure as a cat leave it all to our fervid imaginations and smugly sit at the same table, not even crafting comic books together. This certainly is great writing, but not greatly kind to your reader, me, writing alone in my room in the lonely darkness.

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