Starbucks Tea

She orders the green tea, her boyfriend’s arm around her neck,

In Starbucks, with me standing in line behind.

Who orders tea here? For 5,60 too.

He asks for an Americano—I miss the states—

Does he know he know he’s going to be up all night?

Will she be with him? What’s my order, I have to decide.

They grab a table by the window; that’s where I wanted to be sitting.

What can I get you? The barista smiles.

Flat white, tall—I say. I used to buy ventis.

4,80, please—I could buy a larger size for less. Not here.

I hand over a five, that’s at least the same. But 20 cents is new.

Take-away or for here? Take-away—I say. To go—my mind insists.

I know I’ll drink it here. I don’t like having a mug—it spills.

A new seat by a different window presents itself.

The guy fetches both his coffee and her tea. She stares at her phone.

What is she looking at?

I take my cuppa to a table, they’re both on their phones.

With pen in hand, I stare blankly at the page. Is someone watching me?

No, they’re not that interesting. Neither am I.

There must be something to say. The coffee scalds my tongue.

I’m waiting for summer, the jackets cry winter.

Old Maori woman asks—Where are your bones?

Not here, I tell my overpriced coffee.


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