the coffeeshop before the bar

There’s cold and snow and dark and cold and yet
it’s February again and we’re not dead.
The sun would have us all learn to forget,

here in the north, the sky as grey as lead
(except for when it’s blue, but then it’s colder),
that it was ever warm. The coffee’s bled

all through the napkin. The coffee’s rank and old
and tastes it. There is small talk, shaking salt
from shoes and fixing laces. You had told

me seven but you’re late, and it’s your fault,
you say, you never could have been on time,
you’re sorry that you promised. By default

you’re sorry. Now the coffee’s cold, but I’m
still drinking it, it cost enough. We talk
in circles, missing points and wasting time.

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