Why I Can’t Drink My Coffee Black from Issue 98
Bitter, lonely pool at night—
too much it reminds me of prison
like a tar pit filled with dinosaur bones.
How I once stared into it—instant,
water microwaved or lukewarm from the tap—&
saw my reflection, malformed in its murky mirror.
The penitentiary was half-&-halfless,
lifeless, bland despite its fires.
Its black coffee clamped new shackles
on the extra limbs inside me,
invisible to me, although I felt them tugging,
strained against their chains.
The commissary lady experimented once
with selling jugs of powdered creamer, &
for a few months, my heart
paroled, until someone in administration
figured out the fine grains
might be used to build a bomb
(the science of flashpoint). Then,
again: black water. I learned to swim
there in the isolation of my sadness,
a caught thief banished from Xanadu,
its warmest liquors & delicious, bliss-
inducing, non-dairy milk of paradise.