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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 209 words
By Rebecca Evans

We Drank Our Coffee and Believed

We liked our coffee strong though this was my first 
taste of brew and it was made, military 
way. I needed the Joe, the jolt, the wake-
up. It was O-Dark-Thirty and I suffered, 
only half through my shift. 

We drank our coffee on the tarmac, beneath 
the yellowed-moon Indiana sky weeping 
with fireflies. We drank on break and a senior 
airman added Kahlúa to his steamy Styrofoam. 
But he was the only one. No one dared 
drink from the stained porcelains. Who knew 
who came before? Who left. Who went. 

We drank our coffee black. We wanted 
the bitter bite. No one asked for sugar 
or cream. No one dared. No one 
asked. We asked for little. We asked 
for nothing. 

We drank our coffee unblinking and watching 
the MP unload a full load onto the nose 
of the A-10 and when the other security 
guards wrestled him down, ungripped 
his M16, he looked over his shoulder, said, 
“It smiled at me.” 

We drank our coffee and believed. 
Believed the military night could take 
your mind, take your gun. We believed 
a smile could spread, startle you 
into shooting. Startle you awake. 

We drank our coffee. 

We said we liked it strong. 

Rebecca Evans
Issue 23 (April 2024)

writes the difficult, the heart-full, the guidebooks for survivors. Her work has appeared in Brevity, Narratively, The Rumpus, and more. She earned two MFA degrees, one in creative nonfiction, the other in poetry, from the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. The author of a full-length poetry collection, Tangled by Blood (Moon Tide Press, 2023), she also has a second poetry book, Safe Handling, forthcoming (Moon Tide Press, 2024).

Ms. Evans is a Gulf-War veteran (U.S. Air Force) and former SportAerobics competitor, personal trainer, and coach. A certified Empowerment Coach, she continues to teach her P.E.R.F.E.C.T. workshop for teens in the Juvenile system. She shares space with four Newfoundlands and her sons in a tiny Idaho town.

Author’s website: https://rebeccaevanswriter.com/

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