Submission Guidelines

 

“No poems about your morning coffee.”

But I love mine.

It’s organic,

French Roast,

expensive.

I prepare it the night before.

I think about how

the black liquid

will turn tan

when it mixes with the ½ and ½

on the bottom of my mug.

How I will stand at the kitchen sink,

look out the window

purse my lips

and sip.

 

Maybe that editorwoman-drinking-coffee_300

doesn’t understand

the hint of jasmine

on a spring evening,

the brush of your lover’s

finger on your thigh,

or the perfect cup

of coffee

kissing you full

smack on your lips

each morning.

Morning Ritual **

Every morning the woman would wake before her husband.  She would leave him behind, snoring, and make her way to the kitchen to make him his coffee.  Once the coffee was brewing, she’d go out to her garden.

One grey morning in May, she heard the back door open and close.  She looked up from a stubborn weed she had been working to see her husband standing on the back porch, coffee in hand.  Happy for the company, she looked back to the weed.

“I think we should end this,” he said.  She was gripping at the stubborn weed in her right hand, pushing the earth with her left until it let go with a final tug and she tossed it to the side.  She sat back on her heels. They had been together for twenty-two years.  They had grooved into their routine.  She spent most days gardening or running errands and he spent his days doing whatever it was he did.  She wasn’t sure.  He went out with the boys twice a week, on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and she’d do laundry, or read, or knit.  She enjoyed knitting, even in the summer.  She felt her heart flutter, skip a beat and her stomach felt tight.  She gasped a little for her breath.  “What?” she said.  She gulped for air. “What?”

coffee mug garden

The next morning the house was quiet.  The day before, her husband had packed his clothes, toiletries and his favorite vinyl records in boxes, loaded them into the back of his pick up truck and drove away. She walked into the kitchen and filled the red teakettle.  She sat at the kitchen table staring out at her garden waiting for the kettle to boil.  She noticed her husband had left his favorite coffee mug on the back porch

**This was a piece I wrote this year in the poet Richard Jones‘ workshop.
He is an amazing poet and teacher.