Poem: Another day, another coffee

Another day, another coffee

It starts slowly.
Easing you in with a coffee
warmed through with
bleary eyed
puffy cheeked
cracking elbowed
shedding the skin of sleep.
A bit of sunshine creeps around the heavy blind
and cracks open the closed and crusted eyes
dousing you with a hot dose
of morning. 

You turn your head.
One ear is filled with the near bells of a telephone
in desperate need of an answer.
The other is filled with the clack slap of a keyboard
a furiously typed concessionary apology
fizzed along fibre optic
telescopic
ether soaked finite universes
to arrive and be only half read.

Another coffee.
You rock your head to one side, then the other
your neck doesn’t click, but it might as well have.
Primed
you fastidiously distract yourself
from the myriad tasks at your disposal
by taking on the challenge that just bounded up to you
licked your face
and then it’s own balls.

You’re up and running.
Faster now, forgetting what that former you was like
when stiff with sleep.
loosened, you whirlwind your way through it all
even that thing you should have done in January
but you didn’t.
Digital sheets crumple and die
as one after the other after the former
you’re getting shit done.

Probably time for another coffee.
Multiplied your own request, with the needs and wants of others
spilling, stirring, spilling, dashing, spilling, dunking.
Rock your neck again. Click.
And right back down to it you go,
but not as the same unrestrained fury
more a balanced long distance runner
counting off miles and minutes
and filing them so very neatly.

To feet!
A stretch,
you shiver to dislodge the bodily slumber that has sneaked up.
Your mind races with possibilities of
sandwich
salad
soup
teriyaki fucking chicken.
Resolved and dissolved of responsibility
just for a few minutes
just for a few minutes
just for a…
OK, and we’re back.

Another coffee but probably best diluted.
Your energy’s been looted,
and the whirlwind has turned around.
It’s facing you now.
Those crumpled dead pages
are being launched at your head.
You catch every one – nearly every one –
and you start running again.
Not the efficient mechanised equilibrium
where you can see your route mapped clearly into the distance,
this is a different kind of running.

It’s fast. It’s getting faster.
Those pages you’re clutching to your chest
start to slip out of your grip.
You still throw some, crumpled again
and hope they stay in the bin this time
but mostly the wind is ripping them out of your grasp
and now you’re not sure if you threw that
or it escaped.
Still you’re running faster.

When you were a child did you every run down a steep hill as fast as you could?
Did you ever suddenly realise
when you were three quarters of the way down
that your legs weren’t working for you
that they were doing their own thing?
There’s no rhythm now
no knowledge of where you’re planting your next step.
Someone, or something, else is running the show now.
And still you’re getting faster
and still that whirlwind is whipping you.

And then it stops.
You’ve fallen, your legs missed one too many
designated landing zones.
You still landed though,
just on your face.
As you lay there, nose and mouth and eyes pressed firmly into the pillow
you feel that same sunshine tickle the back of your neck.
You stand. You leave. You heave a sigh of relief.
The wind subsides and the pages float softly back to earth.
It’s over.
For another day at least.

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