The Coffeehouse, Normal, IL

At the coffeehouse, I fall in for four hours
molecules evaporate note by note
the scent of curry spinning in the center
it is dots and lines of orange
in the oxygen and carbon dioxide
the wooden furniture, longstanding room
remind me of the smell of cats from another time
behind me, the woody, musky scent of men
before me, the soft, soapy smell of women
silver glints off the spoon and mug, clinking
through my reverie
whiz khalifa in instrumental
to my ear buds makes me feel like I belong
a couple of hours south of Chicago
all in my blood with bumping, spanking bass lines
round folks jamming into booths
my feet in purple converse, faded star
bouncing on the gray carpet
drumming secretly, heartbeating
phatt man, the heart beats backwards
coffee with trailing cress twists the senses
november corners
the aura
brown so alive it bends beyond the rim
warmth down deep into the infinity of me
where there is time
a balloon of light with stripes of all colors
hangs over Mary’s head as she stacks cups
with long brown hair, mellifluous, waxing gold
she lapses into the fold of air bringing her footprints
her white teeth creating song, her voice bel canto
she walks mezzo-soprano, mezzo-legato, full bow
with controlled wrist movements,
flesh and shapes, her body moving
the chocolate sound of cello, bringing cadences
of night and warmth taking the space inside me with her
and bringing it back with the lilt of her phrasing
the coffeehouse is a map that marks the crossroads
and tells me that I know what I never should have known
it shows me its ghosts and dares me
to tell them to come and get me with the lights off.

Summer Qabazard is a poet who grew up in Kuwait and now lives in Normal, Illinois where she is a Ph.D student at Illinois State University. Her poem, “All Hands Bury the Dead” appears in The University of Missouri-St. Louis’s literary magazine, Litmag.

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2 Responses to The Coffeehouse, Normal, IL

  1. So much here to stimulate the senses.

  2. carrieetter says:

    I grew up in Normal, Illinois and have been going to the Coffeehouse since it opened. The poem captures the slightly hippy/bohemian feel of the place well.

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