That first sip of morning.
The woman in her chair,
cup in both hands,
brought to her lips like a chalice.
Hues of blue and green.
She faces away from the window,
away from the day.
That first taste of day,
of loam and earth.
Like the relief
of the first drink of alcohol,
except the edges sharpen, not blur.
That drink when the world is
too harsh and jittery,
when everything hurts.
After the relief of years,
of reaching for scotch, gin, vodka, wine, beer,
the black curtain of no memory,
now I have only coffee.
Coffee is memory.
Of late afternoon Café Cubanos
as I sit on the deck
watching the sun sink.
Too late and I’ll wake
as if I’ve hardly slept,
and the only thing to do is drink more coffee,
at least two cups each morning,
then there’s always that afternoon dip,
sometime between two and four,
when it’s either a nap or coffee or both.
Like those drinks to forget, to make myself
feel right in the world.
Now it’s the rich darkness
that lets me keep on with the day.
Like my Dad said when he was dying
that Saturday he took morphine for the pain,
“That first drink really did it.”
He knew I knew what a first drink could do.
In my bed of morning again,
curtain closed against the light
that first sip so hot and thick.
is a poet living in Richmond, California. Her work previously appeared in KYSO Flash and most recently in Eclectica and Coffee Poems, and is forthcoming in West Marin Review. She is a freelance editor, and managing editor of Jung Journal: Cultural and Psyche.
Two poems by LeeAnn Pickrell in KYSO Flash (Issue 8, August 2017):
Hand and Wheel, after Georgia O’Keeffe—Hand and
Wheel (1933) by Alfred Stieglitz; and