Coffee Stains

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Contributor: J.K. Durick

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A river of coffee flows through my life
Strong, dark, sweet, warm at first, but
Cooling after all this time; it flows, pours,
Cascades, leaves its mark on the things
I do, have done, it marks out who I am,
Have been, part of the ritual of being
Who I am, domestic magic and science
Coming together, beginning the day,
Punctuating morning and afternoon;
The cups, a sequence to measure time,
Propel me forward, mark my place,
Keep me going, become a distraction,
An excuse, a polite enough invitation,
Another addiction I carefully attend to.
Coffee has colored my life, left marks
All around me, pale circles everywhere,
Dots, spots on my clothes, the carpets,
Odd places in the car, like evidence,
Proof that I was here, passed this way
A cup of coffee in my shaky right hand,
Slopping, gesturing, making some point,
Letting the coffee do most of the talking,
Leaving a mark on my small world.

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J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Black Mirror, Third Wednesday, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Rainbow Journal.


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