A Caffeinated Writer

Artwork by YAOYAO MA VAN AS
A whistle sounds off from the stovetop, 
and the aroma of coffee overwhelms me
as I pour myself another espresso. 
Caffeine is worth gold in my home, 
so my clumsy hands are careful not to spill.
spill like the stories trickling down from my fingers,
late at night when I am overflowing, 
covering white spaces with ink,
a sweet release from the pressure
they build up within me. 

I take a sip from my coffee 
and trace my finger around a chestnut ring 
it left behind on the parchment of my journal,
courtesy of the crack on my favorite porcelain mug 
that I am too apathetic to throw away. 
So what if it drips sometimes?
We have that in common. 
Words seep out of my cracks, 
dripping life unto blank pages, 
over and over again
adding to my collection. 

I amass words 
the way some amass treasures. 
They are my prized possessions.
Stowed away like valuables in a safe 
or money under the mattress. 
Occasionally sharing their wealth
with the ones I hold dear. 
They aren’t worth much to most, 
but they are priceless 
to a sentimental fool like me
who prefers the richness of 
a good cup of coffee
and the tales of a life well-lived. 

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