This morning I drink my coffee to feel loved and less alone,

and even though I know it doesn’t hold me or sit beside me

and run its fingers under the hair on the back of my head,

the way you used to whenever you didn’t want to disturb me

while I was writing, but still wanted to go with me to where

you knew I would disappear for hours into a place I couldn’t be

touched, something in me has to believe in a cup of coffee’s

power to trigger a gestalt that lasts as long as my wish that

you were still here, looking more beautiful than I could ever

imagine myself to be, your face a milky brown color swirling

in on itself until it’s all tan, until I’m once again transfixed

on the tan line on your lower back and wanting to become it

while lying beneath you in my bunk, remember…watch your

head…or remembering the black and tans I used to drink on

those nights where at the pub I’d solemnly read surreal poetry

into a cigarette cloud of disembodied faces that could have

been ghosts in a movie entitled “The Tan,” which is about

some dead coming back through a fog to ask for help in killing,

you, as it turns out, then there’s the hauntingly beautiful tan

you know is there even though you can’t see it, and yes, your

warm, slightly sweet skin I used to taste and now mourn on

mornings just like these, but also, on others when you weren’t

here, and all I could hear was the sound of my own scalp being

massaged each time I was in the middle of writing and needed

to relax and lower my head and let all of it come out, before

turning around to look at myself and smile with glazed over,

coffee-colored eyes at the me who wanted more cream and

the me who couldn’t.