Gotta make some coffee. It’s my first thought as the sublime sunrise

creeps up over the water’s edge to smack me in the face again.

We have the bedroom curtains, the rods too.

But fuck me if we’ve hung ‘em yet.

I tell myself that’s what the coffee’s for.


Up-n-shuffle. Bathroom first. Spend an extra minute washing my hands

Aren’t we all paranoid these days? I tell myself again, that’s

what the coffee’s for. Focus. On the good stuff.

Empty yesterday’s grounds. Wash the pot. 

Fill the machine with water.

Unfold a filter, spoon out the grounds.

But I don’t hit “Brew.” Not yet.


I hold my hands out over the coffeepot, the filter, the coffee

I say a prayer of gratitude. Thoughts and prayers, I know, but I do

for the bean farmers, that they may know what a gift they cultivate

for the roasters, for the factory food packers

the grocery truck driver, the stock clerk

the checkout girl


Each one of them played a vital role

It reads like a walk-on in the script, maybe

But individual hands

Specific hands

Human hands

Brought me and my coffee together today


Then I press the button.

Oh. I, uh, plug the machine in.

The switch has already been flipped

the water rumbles cheerfully.

Why didn’t I check it?

I did the same thing yesterday.


All over the world, in every moment

Strangers unite me with my day, every day


I hold them in my heart, sipping solace from my thermos

as I read Kerouac’s poetry on the southbound train.

It’s been hours now, and my coffee’s still hot.

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