Sunday at the Café

This is for my own prompt at We Write Poems, about writing about an object in an unexpected way. I’m back at the same coffeeshop where I found the honey I wrote about the first time (because, really, I’m here at least three days a week), and all of the objects in here were demanding my attention. So I went for broke and just wrote about the whole place instead. I’m sipping my iced Nutella latté and feeling pretty good about it being the weekend. That’s how it goes!

(I know it’s not Sunday, but just bear with the imagery please.)

Sunday at the Café

Every church needs its trappings, from the tabernacle
chewing the beans into powder to the altar
stacked with chalices of hot, dark life.
Incantations are recited from the board: small decaf,
extra foam, hazelnut syrup. A handful of bills
for the collection box: a prayer for sleeplessness,
answered. And the priests in flannel, ripped jeans,
dark-rimmed glasses, move among their flock
full of benediction. No kiss of peace,
no homily, in this congregation: nothing unifying
except the sacred music of steam and blade.
And the wicker masks on the wall that gaze down
with tribal knowledge. And the incense that is
breathed in by everyone, woven with
the electricity of short-term desire.

8 thoughts on “Sunday at the Café

  1. Yousei Hime says:

    Seriously…Nutella latte? It’s been too long since I’ve been in a coffee shop if they’re serving that now. Your poem is just as delicious as the idea of that coffee.

  2. The church imagery works really well in this, Joseph, from the incense to the collection plate.

  3. Just as brilliant as your first go-round with this prompt. Love the metaphor–it contains so much truth!

  4. I’ve done poems comparing my piano bar to a congregation, so this was delightful, Joseph. I’m so impressed your poem inspired the WWP prompt this week, I clicked on the link and commented there. Your use of sound and scent in your work makes it come alive. Now where’s that cup of decaf? Peace, Amy (I linked your blog in my post – everyone needs all the Harker they can get in this world.)

  5. 1sojournal says:

    I’m not a coffee drinker, but have spent time with friends who are. Love the church metaphor throughout, as it brought back many moments spent in similar locations, even though I mostly only drank water. You do make coffee sound, smell, even taste like church lunches, after services, where all the ladies compete weekly to offer the best of their culinary efforts.


  6. Irene says:

    Excellent imagery evoking the senses (eg sacred music of steam) and so original. That last sentence about incense is pure electricity. You truly illustrated your prompt, Joseph.

  7. A delicious extended metaphor ~ and a great prompt ~ thanks Joseph

  8. Misky says:

    I might find myself whispering and looking for the offering dish when I go to Costa Coffee next time.

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