Coffee Shop Dreams

There’s really no one to meet here. The only person who is ever really there is the boy who her heart still beats for, long after the song is done, after the final words have been said. He’s always there, a melody inside her head that wonders, why didn’t it work?
She just wants his arms around her again but instead she sits in this coffee shop, writing the things that never happen.
There’s a trail in the background, through the half drawn shutters in the musty afternoon. There’s three girls riding horseback, and it looks like freedom. Any of it. The long manes of the horses, the smiles from under baseball caps, the taste of the rain in the air. Anywhere outside.
In here, it’s cozy and warm but she’s always trapped inside her thoughts. Her thoughts that glance at the man reading the front of the newspaper next to her and think, I wonder why he’s here? Bright orange t-shirt on a rainy Monday, at that age where he’s about to go bald but not yet, not yet. Reading a newspaper because that’s something that someone from his generation does. He looks like a talker. The kind who would sit you down like it was as normal as a mini-van full of kids and tell you about how he learned from the mistakes he made when he was young. Did he make mistakes? Did he ever shatter a BMW windshield with a baseball? Did he ever shatter a heart with words?
She’d never know because even if he was a talker, she wasn’t. She did know that the four blonde white teenagers in front of her could tell she was listening to them, half out of the fact that her table faced directly toward them and half out of the fact that they were fascinatingly, purposefully loud.
“Here ya go, knock yourself out,” the one with the hair that was obviously dyed said, handing over a crumpled five dollar bill into the silver ring studded hand of the other girl who was wearing a Hawaiian t-shirt probably only because she thought it was ironic. Like a five dollar bill was a leaf on the ground, as insignificant as yesterday’s nail polish color. Three girls and a boy, the age where they drive around and complain that life sucks but they haven’t lived enough of it to really know it yet. The woman quietly sipping her “for here” coffee out of the white mug by the corner window notices them too. There’s no wedding band on her finger and her brown eyes watch them with a longing ringed by crows feet. She wonders if the woman misses a son who went off to college or she just misses the time when having a son who went off to college and complains that life sucks was a possibility on her horizon, if going home is going back and washing dishes for a family of one to the tune of talk radio dim in the blue background.
The girl at the study table can be found at every coffee shop. It doesn’t matter what color her hair is or how her voice sounds. Her mouth moves soundlessly as she trips over the words in her rainbow highlighted textbook that would make an unabridged copy of War and Peace tremble in fear. She wonders – who was it that told her she would never be good enough?
“Tall caramel macchiato!” announces the thirty-something nose-pierced probably aspiring artist barista. A lithe brunette in a perfectly styled sweater jeans combo strides over to sweep up her drink and returns back to her perfect boyfriend and perfect life. A businessman on the phone watches them go like he watches his investments and the cars pass by through the window in his office where he thinks, where are they going, where are they going, and do I want to go there with them?
She wants something to happen. Why doesn’t anything ever happen? She goes from place to place, waiting for things to happen that never do and never will. Because the past is passed. The grocery store, a coffee shop, the laundromat, the local park. Save it for the movies.
Maybe he’d walk through the door, at that precise moment. Just a jingle of the doorbells in the corner of her eyes, a deep kind voice asking for a tall black coffee. then sitting across from her at the big rectangle table while he waits, while she tries not to flick her eyes up from the notebook but they continue to stray because seafoam eyes are her favorite and those are what fate has just dragged in front of her.
Then he’d get up to get his drink and sit down at the same seat, pull out his laptop, but a pen and a notebook too, and start writing, his handwriting a tilted announcement that maybe that constant looking for heartbeat in her life would finally turn to found, found, found. This time when his black lash lace eyes trickle over to hers they’d both stop and laugh, then in the cheesy first line of a movie he would say, “I always have to write it down before typing, too.”
Then in the way that scripted perfection flows she’d say, “I know what you mean. It makes me feel like I was born in the wrong century.” No lengthy pauses, no inside out t-shirts or stray hairs. Even though in her head she was dancing on butterfly wings, thoughts that this couldn’t be happening to someone like her because she was not carved out of perfection, but moonbeams and traffic accidents.
“Which one are you supposed to be in?” His computer hadn’t finished boot up yet, his coffee still too hot to drink, the steam rising across a face cut from the silver screen and handed a pair of glasses.
She’d tell him what century she was supposed to be in, and how it was definitely not this one, and in his eyes she’d see that century, cast in the color of the ocean. She’d see that little spark of a hope that this time this time maybe she could hold on without letting go and that pulsing longing in her chest would no longer quiver in the past but dauntlessly look into the future. Something about the gentle way he moved his hands spelled adventure in the air, the catch in his voice an excitement for things to come, things to come. Maybe this could be it. Come away with me, she’d hear his heart say, and she’d stop living waiting for something to happen but live in the happening, stepping towards a future where life held no more wondering, only wonder under a soft bed of stars and open skies under blankets in a flatbed truck.
But across the table there was no one there. No tall dark stranger who felt like home. Only the trail through the window, the notes of that same old song playing across the ceiling. And nothing ever happens.

Where Do I go

I am a mess of an enigma, wavy hair and starshine skin. Swimming lost, trying to drown, but gasping in the air. Turning on the lights to cast the sky in shadow. Not knowing if I walk on solid ground or a staircase to the sun. I’d like to go there. To dip my feet in liquid gold and summery waves. To shed the skin that’s held me in for so long and melt into yellow and red. Maybe one day under a rainbow I chased I’ll find it, leading to that flowery freedom. For now I’m stuck under the moon. A cold spreading across the dawn, not quite winking into day. An in-between gray, could go either way, the underbelly of a toadstool and the yawn of a cricket’s wings, chirping into a firefly sky. I want to move on from here, this beautiful, tragic twilight. I want to move into orange hues stop dancing with disaster. But it takes time, they say. So I think I’ll have to toe these waters for a while, chilling ripples tripping along the surface. It takes time so I guess I’ll take it, and one day, hopefully soon, run.

Moment

She wants to get rid of everything she owns. She wants to be that girl in the pictures, framed by starlight, hands to the sky, laughing. The freedom that comes in the arms of a moment and the beautiful release as that moment passes by. She wants to dance through copper sunshine fields with flowers at her feet and a smile on her face, the girl who everyone knows but only knows by name, golden skin, gold in her eyes. Never knowing what it means to be afraid, only brave, hands pressed close to the air and wind. Maybe then she will find herself, a sigh of relief to be known and unknown and for it not to matter at all, for people to think she’s beautiful but not know why. 

11:11 In The Middle of the Summer

It’s one of those weird unexplained phenomena like when you were thinking about your great Aunt Carol, then she calls you. Or that guy that you keep running into at the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, picking up a pizza.
But the universe holds twisty mysteries like these and my mystery is for the past month I keep looking at the clock, day and night, when it’s 11:11.
Make a wish.
So I do. Night, wish, day wish, I wish I might, I wish I may – have the wish I wish today.
My wishes go up in the form of prayers.
Wishing on a wishing star will only get you so far.
So I’ve been sending little half-thoughts, postcard scraps to God, that form when I see those hashmarks on the clock.
I wish for my family, I wish for my friends, I wish for my future that never ends I wish for stars to align
to find –
what I’ve been looking for and I wish to know what I’m finding.
I keep reminding myself
wishing all the time
might make it not come true
But I just looked at the clock again. It was 11:11. Night. Nightwish, nightstars. I looked that clock square in the face and I thought about you and for the first time
I thought
I don’t need to make a wish.
And I’ve never felt more brave.

Car Crash

This is more poetry/stream of consciousness but sue me I want to tag it

I’m going to write a bunch of stuff down because lately what’s been going over and over in my head is

I can’t do this I can’t do this I can’t do this I can’t do this

I’m in church and all I can do is stare at two things
the first is the exit sign
glowing green
It’s one of the only inviting things I can see except for the second thing
which is you.
They’re talking about car crashes and I know exactly what you’re thinking but you have no idea what I’m thinking, I’m thinking I got in a crash, too. My bones are fine. My toes, my neck, no bruises, no scrapes, but that thing in my rib cage –
I wonder, will that next girl you love think, it beats in twos, the syllables of your name, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-
but it stopped. Crash. I crashed into you when you swerved and we veered and spun off to the side and de-railed, I hit a wall and I hit it hard.
I crashed into your eyes and the way guitar chords and two voices blended into one, when I was thinking, I wish we were just our voices slipping through one another because voices can’t collide and snap and tear and run into each other and then run away.
I’m crashing into the way you turn and whisper into your friend’s ear, something about the harpsichord that I know you think is funny – that used to be me, my ears, but ears, those can crash into each other too when they hear things like it’s probably for the best.
That thing inside my ribs cracks, crashes harder than lightning bolts against the concrete when the kids go to the altar and your eyes, eyebrows always raised and listening, brighten. Because you’ve got a bright future and there’s hints of those pink bows and unbrushed hair in it and you’ll raise them up on your shoulders and tuck their curls behind their ears and kiss their foreheads with the love in that thing inside your ribs but it will not be with me.
It will be with someone who wasn’t afraid to give the thing inside her ribs. No matter how much I wanted to. But you deserve better. Mine doesn’t beat it seeps. Too many crashes. Too many could have beens. Too much wasted beating for others who crashed into it when it was whole. I wish I could lose it in the crash. Doctor, just take it out. It doesn’t work anymore. It got swallowed up in memories and now all I do is chase my yesterdays, because in my yesterdays I hear your laugh but in my tomorrows all I hear is the echo of when we said goodbye.

the woman who makes my salad

It occurred to me the other day that I don’t know your name even though you wear a name tag. I never even bothered to look at it. I think about that more than it makes any sense to think about that.
I’ve been coming here a lot and ordering the exact same thing – romaine, chicken, parmesan, cucumber, heavy on the ranch – for a few weeks now. I do this because when my anxiety’s really bad I go for days without eating but for some reason this stupid $6.47 make your own salad is one of the things that I can stomach. I like to make fun of people who eat salads. I want to sink my teeth into a juicy cheeseburger, not the crunchy centerfold of a piece of lettuce. You don’t know this. You think I just really like salad.
Maybe not though. Nobody really likes salad.
What I would like to know is your name. I only see you and will only ever see you from behind a plexi-glass sneezeguard. 11-6. Do you get bored? You must. You must know my order by now. I get bored doing anything, driving to the store, sitting a bar, watching a movie. You must get bored putting those same damned tomatoes on my salad. It must make you feel existential, wondering why you put tomatoes on a salad and I eat them and if life is nothing more than a cycle of cutting up and eating tomatoes. I get existential about you, wondering if that’s what you wonder. I wonder what you wonder about me.
Maybe you wonder nothing. Maybe you stand for 8 hours a day and make salads and meatball sandwiches and the routine of it all buzzes in your head until you are done. Maybe you go home to your family and call your mother and thank her for the t-shirts she bought for Danny. Maybe you spend the tips you made that day on a trip to get frozen yogurt and laugh and never question why the world works the way it does.
I will never know. You are the lady who makes my salad. You are a human trapped in my head in a 5×5 box full of mushrooms and mayonnaise. You never leave, according to the girl who eats the salads you make.
All I know is next time I go, ignoring the knot of worry in my stomach, I’ll read your name tag and say thank you.

At least

reposting from anniecollins

 

the world is not for us
and so is the universe
but does it matter?
as long as we’re under the same sun,
as long as we breathe the same oxygen,
as long as we’re under the same stars,
nothing could ever take the little hope in my heart
that somehow
you’ll be a part of me
and i’ll be a part of you
at least we’re under the same sky
at least our heart beats at the same time
but I know
not for the same reason

Source: At least

Missing

Cheating because this is also listed on my poetry section but oh well and stuff

Missing someone is
the ending of fireworks.
The bang, the sizzle, that was the spark in their eyes.
Silence. They’re moving in the haze of the wind
You can’t catch the fog and you don’t know where they are.
They’re pressed across the pieces of your world, stitched across your heart like a patchwork quilt.
Maybe in reality they’re sitting a desk doing
complicated computer calculations while you’re
picturing them
racing down the highway, windows down, their car radio an anthem to the sky
pounding out the lyrics, a song of possibilities
their future without you
A future full of first dances and whiskey kisses, travelling under starlight, black skies, blue clouds, rain drops under heaven looking down watching them walk down the center of the bright path where you veered off and they’re left laughing at tumbleweeds with a smile while you wish on dewdrops, twinkle twinkle little star, that they were here
instead you invite them to stay a while, playing projections in your head of walking together, alone
Of making music, trumpet sounds, dancing down lamp lit streets, chasing fireflies, breathing in the rolling thunder
But the thunder rolls
On and on
The light in your eyes is off
Because they’re gone.