Neighborhood coffee shop, just around my corner,
Small inside and out,
Just big enough.
Patio too hot in the summer,
I never seem to get the shady seat.
But I watch the sun make it’s way from north to south,
Across the sky,
Over the months,
And take shelter under the half-shade of the Colfax locust trees
At the square table by the trash can.
At any given hour there are sirens,
The very same I would be hearing from my balcony.
But here I feel the whoosh of the truck as it screams by,
See the look of expectant indifference on the firemen’s faces.
Chess players, men all, playing for joe or a smoke or just to break up
A monotonous day in the sun.
A bowl of water for the myriad dogs, dogs who watch people and dogs
Who watch other dogs,
The humans busy staring at pawns or computers or crosswords or
Off in the distance.
A constant dumping and refreshing of the ashtrays.
They don’t try here, they just. . .are
Calm and perfect, accepting and guarding of its patrons.
It is a responsibility to run a café on Colfax,
A café that allows me to smoke next to the door, a café that lets in doggies,
A café with a constant flow of every demographic imaginable.
What would Dave think of that?
Dave, the owner,
Whistling and humming to the ever-constant classic rock radio station,
Dave who seemingly knows everyone but me.
You checked on me one time,
When a gravely-voiced bum decided to try
To have a dialog with me.
Once, a man ferociously washing the windows outside,
His too-long squeegee pole perturbing the patio patrons,
Desperately looking like he needs his job
And not more coffee.
I come here to write.
I come here to think when I’m anxious.
The constant hum and honk and clatter of cars,
Never a quiet peace,
But peace in knowing that people will always just
Go about their business.
This morning I ate something,
A bacon, egg and scallion croissant,
Heated in your microwave.
Buttery, decidedly non-American,
Baked by your “in-house baker”.
Give me more than that Dave.
Recognize me, know that I drink the same double Americano
In my black Caffe Sanora mug.
I’ve seen your “in-house baker”, a little smidge of a woman
In hair net.
I am not a regular anywhere,
But I frequent this place more than any other,
And I want you to know that.