When I was a kid there was always this sour taste on my attitude

that made me want to crouch to the kitchen and sneak a sip of

my father’s coffee. But I think what I really wanted was to steal

a hit from his voice without him feeling it, thinking doing that

would teach me how to speak and carry myself the way he always did,

which was usually with patience, calm and poise.

I remember it being so sickeningly sweet as it slid down into my

stomach, that and it always faintly tasting of his pipe tobacco

which smelled fine enough, until you smoked it and it left this egg

in your throat made from what I imagine a house that had burned

down would leave there if it were ground up into a potpourri,

occupants included, with you downwind.

It dropped into the acid cave of my stomach and poisoned

whatever good time start I was hoping to ride on the back of all day

in the time it took to make a cup of instant. “Yuck, that was stupid,”

I said out loud from my bedroom where nobody except me could

hear me try to get my father’s tobacco and coffee-flavored kiss of

disappointment out of me I now love to sip on every morning

to remind myself of my strengths.