Sweet and sad at the same time, this poem from Jia Oak Baker speaks to age, desire, and a kind of freedom.
A twenty-something barista at Lux slips me
a note with my coffee. He must think I am as young
as he. His jeans hang slack from the studded belt
that keeps them up. And his full-grown beard—
it makes him a man the way barista sounds
like a Chilean freedom fighter, the way wedding rings
I love you during sex. He knows nothing
beyond himself, only a cappuccino cup of want.
I could ignore the cat and mouse cartoons.
Could try to make myself forget he is closer
in age to my son than to me. Or I could forget
he scribbled: Can I buy you another cup? I get off
in thirty. But no. I want to head out to his place.
Drink. Laugh. Talk. Wake up hung over
in a different world fashioned by revolution,
by oppressed Chileans everywhere. What anyone
could do in a dimly lit café—with skinny jeans,
coffee beans, and desire handwritten in hope.
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