ALMOST CONVERSATION AT A COFFEESHOP BOOKSTORE

as i handed down the book for purchase
i glanced eyes
mortified by the moving bag of skin
snatching at my plastic cash
and in the silence
i said aloud to myself
“no more!”

and through the dark thicket
i crossed my sharp machete
of conversation
“how was tonight?”
“slow,” he said,
“the good news,” i said,
“you survived it.”
so very bad dad joke am i
and i saw his tongue
behind his tired teeth
itchy at the thought of response
but the receipt came before
before the words

and he stayed still
i walked away
from maybe a fist fight down an alley
or maybe solving the riddle of time

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2016