Daily I Fall in Love
by Pat Phillips West
with cheerful baristas who ask,
What can I get ya? They rattle off options,
write in secret code down the side of my cup.
I’m the old broad who lives up the street,
all the guys ask, How’s your ornery cat?
I’m crazy for the grinders, blenders, young people
chatting and shoulder dancing as Unknown Mortal
Orchestra’s So Good At Being In Trouble
spills from the speakers, even the barking dog
tied up out front. Smoky, toast-like
mixes with chocolate and earthy. Strong hands
pull shots. These tattooed wizards work their magic
with the steam wand, make frothing milk
they swirl side to side and create a heart
within a heart just for me. Who knew
brown could be so many different colors?
They move behind the counter
with synchronized precision, lean bodies,
strong and pleasant like good coffee.
Their bad-boy grins and come hither eyes,
rich as an Italian roast, set my teeth on edge.
I want them, these guys who know
the meaning of extra hot. I want those fingers
calloused by heat to slide over me
with whipped cream and drizzled caramel.
Pat Phillips West moved so often even her closest friends asked if she was in the Witness Protection Program. She refused to comment. Her poems appear in Haunted Waters Press, Persimmon Tree, VoiceCatcher, San Pedro River Review, Slipstream and elsewhere.