The Barista by Thomas Park at

The Barista

The Barista

written by: Thomas Park



Coffee is a fuel
To fill many tanks

Levers force hot water
Through compressed discs of powder

No Folgers crystals, but beans
Imported from Africa, Asia
Roasted to slightly bitter perfection

Lines form
Bursts of caffeinated chatter
Time served out in teaspoons and porcelain cups

The day’s study topics
For the student barista
Reduced reassuringly yet brutally
To simple cause and effect

The morning rush of suits and students
Later brought blinking housewives with kids
Wiping sleep from their eyes

The sun peaked behind shades

The poor people from the halfway house
Shuffled in, heads nodding over coffee cups
Strained beans counteracting meds
Or speeding their effect

Coffee the one med, the permissable drug
Ordinary luxury
Life pressed tight into moments
Eyes propped open,
Only later to nod in counter-reaction

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