coffee

coffee smells like
my father’s church:
stale and detached and
emotionally out of reach

coffee burns my nostrils
with the memory of abandonment
of another late night
at work
because

he can’t stand her either
he can’t be around her either
she crushes his soul
and reminds him that he failed

as a partner
as a parent
as a protector
as a provider

so he hides at work
where the mahogony walls
are saturated with decades
of coffee and spirit fluid
and the prayers of the lonely

but not with
the laughter of
children

(Clio 08.07.21)

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