3

A thumbnail
warm and smooth
–is it my own?–
presses a dent into
the flesh
of my lower lip. Cold fingertips stroke
the flat of my shoulder blade.
Heat radiates as though
the bones
were fresh off the coals.

It’s a binary dance of the senses;
this heat and
this cold.

O Consciousness,
where do I place thee?
In these fingertips that look up at me,
pushing forward, coaxing me
like anxious dogs in need
or
in this blood-rushed flat disk that shifts
with grace in tandem
with….

I look up.
The ceiling above me once leaked. Brown stains flush
and look to spread like mushrooms, but
I know they don’t grow.
I push my back into the wood chair
and feel the soft shag
of my coat’s inner lining brush
my neck as my head
leans back.
The narrow pressure of the chair’s top rail provides
a point of focus
for my overstimulated mind.
I feel soothed.
Pressure always releases.
The rounded aluminum aglet of my hoodie’s
drawstring, I twist it like a nipple.
I look down to the round table and see
that my pen has
–count them–
six sides. “Hex,” I smile.

Moments pass and
this cappuccino has cooled and
I don’t want it anymore.

A smooth muffled gasp of air escapes the closing door, and
I’m reminded that it’s cold outside.
I button up. But,
these buttons won’t stay closed. The cloth is soft.
Excessively.
A consequence of fearing the roughness of life,
the way in which she skins us.

Out the window
webbed trees travel
and unravel light
and shadow,
their broken ends remind me
of something I can’t
quite recall and I feel
the edges of my palms ache
from the anger of yesterday.
Can doors ache as well?
I hit one pretty hard. I wonder if
this body of mine
will always
carry the weight
of my mind. Does it matter?
Another question with no answer
and I close my eyes.

Hair makes noise if you caress it.
Sounds like
rolling in dry grass,
leaves, on a fall day. I listen
to the sound
of sugar shower
from a paper torn
down into
his warm ceramic cup. It’s night, so
life is found
on the inside. Inside
this old coffee shop,
I sit
with life.