Norms change in stages too close to tear.
How are we to name the moment it’s gone?
Sitting in the coffee house, I flip through a book.
Such a slow start, but the hook was enough.
At the end of a chapter, I look up from my page.
A dozen tables spread thin through this loft.
Seating for four dozen,
If only it were so.
Around each table stands four padded seats.
Enough for a family or the closest of friends.
I assume, one day, it used to be that way—
A room where chatter could outsold all music.
Those days faded quite quickly.
Today the music blares.
Each table holds but a single warm body.
Alone in front of their gadget of choice.
Not a whisper except from the baristas up front.
Not a sound until a mug breaks on the ground.
I used to come here to meet someone new.
Conversations, though awkward, bled me anew.
Today we sit, twelve strangers evermore.
Mr. Double Shot could have been my best man.
Over there—Ms. Macchiato—she’d be my wife.
If only eyes were trained to stray.
No more a chance to belong.
Just another place to drift alone.
11 April 2012