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II.
the boy at the coffee shop
is, in fact, a barista

he whiles away his time
at odds with metal monoliths
coaxing honeyed shots of espresso
from the scalding machines
and honing his delicate craft

his language is one of
valves, gaskets, filters
copper boilers and pressure

his artistry
in the turning of steam knobs
folding froth into rich milk
the pulling of levers
the milling of fragrant beans
the pouring of flowers

he learnt his calling
when he first sipped that
viscous indian coffee
cut with bitter chicory
softened with caramelized cream
and dark brown sugar

this is what he understood, coffee:
input/output, give/take
ratios and recipes
detailed tasting notes
he spoke to the machines
and they answered eagerly

and the barista thought the world
to work the same way...
till he saw the girl at the coffee shop

questions glimmered in her eyes
and sweet mocha laced her lips
she was nothing like his machines
all hopeful uncertainty and "what next?"

she wears her hair in braided crowns
concealing her mica-freckled skin
behind oversized cable-knit sweaters
scribbling in sketchbooks for hours
she too, honing her craft

he is a
chipped porcelain cup
gilded with gold
letting others sip their fill
till the cup is empty
and nothing remains

someday he will
go up and talk
to the girl
at the coffee shop
but for now
he is just
a stranger
longing from afar

forever people watching
and forever watched by people

-wren
for context, au stands for alternative universe: a coffeeshop au is a trope where the barista and a customer fall in love.

thank you to jules for the collab :)
I.
the boy at the coffee shop
is a nameless being
with a permanent hold on her

he fills her waking thoughts
with his soft smiles
and brown eyes
light cocoa skin
a sharp contrast
to the white of a coffee cup

every time she's there
he is too
it makes her wonder
if he happens to work there
but in all her time at the cafe
she has yet to see him
put on an apron
and ask for orders

she longs to talk to him
to banter and to flirt
to have a coffee shop au
all her own

but every time
she tries to speak
doubt creeps
into her throat
and stays there

she is a
chipped porcelain cup
gilded with gold
letting others fill her to the brim
till she spilled over the edges

someday she will
go up to talk
to the boy
at the coffee shop
but for now
she is just
a stranger
longing from afar

forever people watching
and forever watched by people

-j.
for context, au stands for alternative universe: a coffeeshop au is a trope where the barista and a customer fall in love.

thank you to jules for the collab :)
  Sep 2021 reignier and wren
CR
it was the hooded-sweatshirt, sit-close-and-pretend-you’re-cold, bleacher-seat,
whiskey-and-coke homecoming that you never had when the leaves changed.
but the leaves changed anyway.

the damp grass smelling vaguely like your fireplace as the world got quieter,
your nose in your precalc and your foot tapping and how-many-years-left
of solo fridays, you counted the suburban stars but didn’t tell anybody
how ******* beautiful they were above your head, because they were yours.

when you wore your high school colors, you were cold for real. no pretense
in your shivering, no flutter in your abdomen because he wasn’t gonna talk to you,
and you didn’t really care, you shrugged. but the leaves changed anyway.

and you changed, slowly. grew taller and smarter and prettier and then the
remaining solo fridays shrank to none, and you left. big sweet snowdrifts turned to spring
and you shared whiskey-and-coke with the city, your stars dimmer but abdomen
finally fuller, and limbs warmer and no sweatshirt because you didn’t need one,
and hands all over to hold and feeling all three kinds of love at once.

and then the accidental homecoming, and the changing of the leaves
and the hooded-sweatshirt shivers and knowing you’re so much bigger now than the
suburban stars and the backward glances of the bleacher-seat kids, but the damp
grass still smells like your fireplace and suddenly you’re small again, just for a
second but god that second, you shiver and turn around again. you’re so much
bigger than this but homecoming, this whiskey-and-coke homecoming still isn't yours.
  Aug 2021 reignier and wren
Aryaman
You see misery,
standing in front of you.
You walk away,
and never tend to come back.

You see joy,
attracting you like gravity,
you hold him tight,
and would never let go.

You see me now,
Neither gravity nor repulsion,
You stand in front of me.
Look in the eyes and,
Fade away.
Too Deep For any ordinary to understand
if someone truly gets its meaning...
I am waiting.
A strike resonates
I twist, and I see the night sky
Felled- like ones before
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