At the Café

I didn’t see it coming. My cup

was full and overflowing. You picked at

your food staring over my head


at the big screen in the corner playing

old movies to an empty café.

Mesmerized you watched scenes unfold


somewhere in the middle

of a conversation with no care for the person

in front of you. “It’s not you, it’s


me,” you said later, when it was all over.

It was easier over the phone. No

emotions; tears to wipe,


no scenes from a movie best left out. Just words,

impersonal, droned down the wire.

Another dimension.


The coffee in my cup tasted bad,

end of a relationship before it

went sour like old milk way past its time.


Rust coffee, you joked one day

about the fungus infecting the

plantations far away. “You will not have


your coffee next year,” but

your smile didn’t reach your eyes. It hovered

at the corners of your lips and disappeared


embarrassed at being seen

in public. And that was it. You ran out faster

than the coffee. Sitting by my side on the drive


back home we spoke in silence.

The wind blew our words to the next town

where you will go to play the part all over again.


(Published in Berfrois –April 30, 2013, UK)