After Noon At Starbucks

The ventilation fans sound like overstimulated crickets
As a Robert Downey ( Jr.) clone enters boldly in his orange shirt.
The woman sitting next to me
is surprised to see him.
He talks to her, touching her too much,
too familiar
and I can tell that
she cannot tell
how much she minds.

The air is a blur of sneezes, hums, mingled voices,
soft
low
male
female.

Jazz riffs skate across a keyboard as baristas whine idly,
harmonically,
about nothing in particular.
Keys jingle in a pocket
as the front door quietly opens and closes.

No one orders a coffee here;
it’s a vente caramel macchiato with soy
or a grande mocha jingle beefcake latte
but hold the whipped cream.

The barista named Saffron
flirts for tips
and her customer strides out,
whistling and smiling.

She reveals to her coworkers that
he looks so much like her father’s friend.

A woman who should not
appears in horizontal stripes and leggings,
and I am sorely tempted
to direct her to the furniture store across the parking lot
for a mirror.

From here,
I can watch the snow move in from behind the mountains
And imagine shooting down the heart-shaped mylar balloons
on the table in the entryway.

The espresso machine hisses like a thousand snakes gone wrong,
spitting steam and spraying a sea breath of foam into the air.
Cups clang waiting for cleaning,
A cooler door bumps shut over and over
until the latch catches.

Saffron wipes down the counters diligently.
She wears a belt that looks like a piano keyboard.

I suspect that

Saffron

is not

her real name.