Life Percolated

I can’t drink real coffee anymore.  I guess.

I’ve percolated a lot of life through my insides.

So much stuffed down there, so much acid.

 

I see the old-timey coffee pots on the gas stoves

in their little kitchens in the Project:

Irene

Betty

and in the bigger kitchens in houses

in Munhall and West Mifflin and Duquesne:

Mary

Margie

Julie

Millie.

So much love, so many women.

 

I just wanted a beer.

There were too many of them

and I didn’t know how to be in their world,

in their houses, in their lives.

Lots of food and always coffee.

 

But mom and dad’s–

cold

decaf

“Turn off the light”

not enough food.

Here I fit in, but I didn’t want to.

 

I wanted to know

how to live

like a grownup,

how to mother,

how to wife,

how to make real coffee in a percolator instead of decaf

in a Mr. Coffee that’s reheated later in the microwave because

we sure can’t pour that cold shit down the drain.

 

35–

I started to learn

from other women who had to learn once upon a time, too:

how to make real coffee in a Mr. Coffee

and that sugar can make feelings bearable

after I learned I had feelings

like anger and joy and fear and love.

But those women thought I was okay.

And they helped me see I could be funny and silly.

 

57–

I don’t drink real coffee anymore.

A while back it made my stomach really hurt

and my doctor described a bleeding ulcer’s risks

and I said OK.  Damn it.  No more coffee.

So then I tried decaf.

It didn’t taste good, any kind.

 

So I tried green tea.

It’s good for me.

Weak-looking,

but strong enough to be good enough.

 

Like me.

 

 

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