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gracie Dec 2021
2144 5th Avenue
nestled between red brick buildings
Harlem Blues Café, the gathering grounds
of quiet scholars and romantics chasing isms
for minds, fuel for weary eyes

all wanting the bitter taste, the smoking atmosphere
the burn, burn of espresso grounds
wafting on
idle chatter
        of indie darlings with pierced *******
clinging to t-shirts, jeans hugging hip bones
old men who bark at their tables, sputter
over the NEW YORK POST—an 80’s *****
passed away mysteriously—and suits
lingering in the doorway, cherry cigarettes
aglow in pursed
I am taking an order, slipping out bills
from a drawer and the woman
orders a latte “no foam” which is a flat white
but I won’t correct a customer

See, I am the barista of your dreams
your friendly caffeine pusher who brews
the strongest or perhaps soft love like
milk froth
        but I still forget about the foam
and now
you have to spoon it
                             off the top
gracie Dec 2021
a million years ago,
        my mom told me there’s a light at the end
             of every tunnel, but I don't hold my breath
        as we drive through them.
she kept the cheerios on top
        of the fridge—out of reach
             from my thieving little hands
                  so I wouldn’t spoil my appetite
             with frosted flakes.
        but I’m taller now (5’5” to be exact)
and I don’t even go on tippy toes
        to grab my routine dinner of cheerios and milk

             to be eaten alone
                  in my room.
another rewrite
gracie Dec 2021
Keats says “transcendence of the self”, so you become a fox,
        copper-coated, starry-eyed
You become a familiar face at the bookstore on 4th Ave,
        lingering in my thoughts like the scent of
             cold brew on a sweater
And to think I almost threw it away, that green sweater full
        of ghosts, memories of us,
Moonlight kisses in a thrift store parking lot, my name
        on your lips; strange, unrecognizable, ringing
             each syllable like
A pink-petal prayer as I lay across your lap, one hand in my hair
        and the other unraveling something inside,
matching the rhythm of rain on backseat windows,
        our Paradise by the Dashboard Lights
Perhaps I’ve always been weak in the wake of pretty boys
        and cruel fingertips. And oh, what I’d do!
             for yours instead of mine, tracing
My collarbone in place of the way yours made me
And long for a dream, a second chance to chase
        your silhouette down the streets
             of my mind.
a rewrite
gracie Apr 2021
Little white sheep on a faded blue pillowcase
          your hair strewn across like a
sleepy blonde storm.

I’ve got the strangest feeling...

Last night I had a dream—perhaps a memory
          of you bathed in golden light,
                    pulling up fistfuls of grass
          and piling it on my bare knee.

          A voice low and purling
with the stream at our feet.
                    Silk on skin.
                              Lips on peaches.
                                        Pinky promises
                              on Sunday afternoons.

We wear socks to glide over the kitchen tiles
          humming along to an ancient song on the radio.
another old poem reworked
gracie Apr 2021
I wish my mother would let her hair go gray,
but she says it makes no difference black
or silver-streaked. It won’t shine like a young lady’s,
an ivy-league beauty on her way to biochemistry
and it won’t bounce when she laughs at some charming
church boy’s jokes or cascade down her shoulders
when she shakes it from its pins. It’s too sparse now, I think.
Thinned by two children, dulled by one husband.
Only scattered locks to cry behind, wispy
memories from darker, warmer days that fade
with the dye like overexposed polaroids
stashed in the back of a dresser.
gracie Apr 2021
Dreams of you descend—flurries
dancing through frosty air softly
as kisses on foreheads, gently
as fingertips trace the hollows
of collarbones; sleepy golden hair
peppered with stars as you exhale
warm wisps of breath into
the atmosphere. Tell me, what did you say?
Words caught in the curl of your lip
when I left you smiling to the silver
sky; communion between heaven
and poet. Even now, your laugh
rings like bells, angelic vision I reach
out to touch but you remain
ever evasive.
old poem reworked
gracie Nov 2020
he says “a rose is a rose”
but I’m more of a dandelion
clumsy and soft, always growing
in gardens I’m not meant to be
and betting on the wishes of silly
tufted daydreams.
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