Image for the poem Late Night Automat

Late Night Automat

Too many years to count
Had passed
But there she was  
In a late night automat  
(isn’t that how it always starts)  
Looking like a painting
Cracked by too much light  
As she sipped her coffee
We talked all night  
In the ways of strangers  
Reacquainting, each hoping  
The other understood
What they missed before.  
She was a late-night loner  
Too caffeinated to see  
Beyond her lipstick-stained mug  
And me, I needed to feel warm  
“So, what do you do now”  
She asked nonchalantly  
I couldn’t say unemployed
Down and out between jobs
I could barely afford the coffee
We shared
I couldn’t take the pity  
Look on her face, again  
“Sales”, I explained  
Like it was an affliction  
A bane in my soul
She was gracious  
But knew I was lying  
Also knew deep down  
I would be gone by morning
She was still single—
We walked to her place  
Around the corner  
And for a time, I was warm  
Until light shredded the illusion  
Her eyes didn’t sting
Morning mist and dew  
She’d been here before  
Knew the routine  
Fed me good before I left  
“Don’t work too hard” she said  
Looking like an old painting
Cracked by too much light  
As she sipped her coffee  
Never saw her again after that-  
But heard years later  
She’d married pretty good
I hoped she'd finally found that thing  
I could never give her  
We were just too different  
And yet wanted so badly to love  
the other  
highlyfunctional is one of the more unique poets on DU. His poetry springs from a reservoir of personal experience combined with human discovery and recognition of the human spirit when affected by unrequited love and carnal desire. While many of his pieces are erotic, many more shadow noir, reflecting those black and white films of mystery, intrigue, and perils of love. Yet the underlying essence is desire for truth, the real deal of a relationship.
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