Wet Mud

a poem for Greer

  She holds the bag of twenty-ounce cups against her breastplate -
thrust from the heart-
she is the girl in their green logo
the siren smile that traces a set of perfect, ivory teeth.
Her muddy-colored hair swirls like mocha down the back of her neck.
The ladder of cups she has built hides the rows of eyes
from the fine lines of her neck and chin.

  "What can I get for you?"
She takes them down, one by one,
pulling at the black-handled filter baskets,
hammering out the grounds of old drinks.

  Only you, baby
The sighs and droopy eyes lift,
espresso melts through two silver shoots into matching shot glasses.
She taps each one into the cup,
lining its base with dark, bitter undertones.

  She chisels away at the day that wears her down
behind the counter.
But tonight,
she will take the suspended moonlight and drink it,
she will tiptoe across the freshly mopped floor
and untie the strings of the dirty, green apron,
and toss the trashbags out the back door,
she will inhale the quiet that awaits her.