Friday, July 28, 2017

Smoke Like Pissarro

My favorite coffee shop on the planet
Is tucked into a closeted, natural oasis
Of many types and sizes of trees
That in winter shed their leafy disguise.

A tapered, seasoned building,
an art gallery with an antique past,
shelters the coffee salon from the main drag.
A circular, crunchy gravel path
reveals parking options
to those seeking a feast
for the eyes or the tongue.
Maybe both.

(Visitors with a carbo craving
might also frequent a nearby,
drive-thru biscuit endeavor,
a locally owned legend, still in its prime.)

Late one mild, December afternoon
a sharpening angle of fading light
finds a java enthusiast in his early twenties,
who sports a brownish gold shirt,
dark copper pants, matching boots,
a rodeo-style silver belt,
and a mouth-dangling cigarette
that gradually loses its length;
his perky fingers
tapping the face of a phone.

After a few moments, he tosses the butt
of his Pall Mall (maybe a Marlboro)
onto the crushed rocks; then chooses his right boot
to extinguish the flame, or so he thinks,
and heads back toward his table —
one of many that surround a weather beaten
structure that suggests a European location,
preferably a scenic spot renown
for its alchemy when
marrying chocolate and caffeine.

The angle of light shifts slightly again;
a gentle breeze resumes, reminding
those outdoors it is, after all, still winter.

The almost crushed cigarette
finds enthusiasm from that casual gust,
and soon a vapor trail
three inches high and many yards long,
spirals with the breeze,
its curling smoke like Pissarro.

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