cyle talley

Grit and Grime and Bittersweet

I thought of her today,
at the bottom of the coffee cup
my third of the day and last of the pot
as the taste in my mouth began to get
of the bittersweet and warm,
the scent of foreign shores
and the feeling that I couldn’t shake off-
that she was or she is or she will be
to my door

“i love the grit” she used to say
as we boiled the water and ground the beans
both freshly woke with freshly brushed teeth
our fragile persons
in various states of
stretching the joints rubbing the sleep in our eyes
and smiling squinting sighing
in a corner in her kitchen, slowly
to life

she always got the grit
i gladly gave it, truth be told
anything, really, but always with intent to show
that she was the center-
and ours would hold
now the grit is mine and she is gone
and has been for a while
seeking foreign shores, mistaking them for
G-d and mother and father and passion and beauty and truth and
to conclusions she already, but never thought, she knew

i thought of her today
at the bottom of the coffee cup
as i counted the rings of residue
on the walls of the white ceramic mug
a timeline i traced
in grit and grime and bittersweet
more telling of our time together than words could ever be
circling the last sip and gathering the dust
i tipped the mug back and raised a toast
to us
suddenly fine with the not knowing, the complete, the utter lack
of wondering whether she was or she is or she will be ever


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