Cafe Opium

A working autumn morning,
I await my comforting porridge,
with its thick nurturing texture,
such hearty oatiness,
with levity provided
by some five a day berries.

I check my phone: first service
a volley of messages, I return –
now temporary peace before
the racket strikes again.
Then I’m served with my
Grandma’s favourite start
to the day, as steam rushes
upwards to greet my hungry smile.

“Did you find the place alright?”
A man and woman take the adjacent table:
“Yes, no trouble at all”.
By their tone, I infer they are strangers
meeting for the first time.

I look at the sapphire-rubied berries
taking pride of place in the heated
ooze of oaty nourishment.
I stir the berry jewels into the molten
mixture, and watch them lighten
into a rose quartz ripple.

Too hot to taste, I check my phone –
again, as odd strands of words
penetrate my cafe solitude:
“Submission” is mentioned
then “Domination”.

I stir my porridge some more,
and curl my spoon around
the edge of the bowl to
sup the cooler mixture.
Ah, instant satiation.

“My wife’s not adventurous..
I’ve tried to spice things up..”
I’m attempting not to listen,
I want to enjoy my own
sweet fruitiness, so I stir
and taste again.

She speaks, as if interviewing him,
an intimate, but public interrogation:
“So what kind of things do you like?”
and gets an unoriginal reply:
“sexy lingerie”. I sip my chai latte,
as I try to regain my mindful eating,
but apparently her underwear:
“is a bit meager at the moment”,
but she’ll “find something” he’ll like.

A previously undiscovered treasure
has been disturbed by my spoon,
a cluster of berries reveal their dark
and purple-red luster.
I stir them in and eat again.

“I’ll look into motels with day rates that
aren’t too sleazy”. He responds with:
“That would be really great” –
it sounds like a real estate transaction.

My stomach feels fuller, which
is nothing compared to my ears.
“Am I what you expected?”
she asks an awkward silence.
Not much of my porridge remains,
I’ll soon be done, but now they
are discussing the need for “storage”???

All finished, I push the bowl away.
There’s no flirting, no teasing, no play –
just talk of getting down to business.
As I come to leave, I remark to myself
that even dogs at least sniff each others butts before..


14 thoughts on “Cafe Opium

    • Yes, it happened earlier this week, while I was gathering myself for a long working day. The quotes are as near to what they said as I can remember…and they weren’t whispering either..

  1. this is really well done…the porridge with its berries and the contrast of the conversation…ugh…yeah…just puts me off as well…nothing to stir the appetite…well written

    • Yes, despite the conversation’s topic it wasn’t at all arousing, and my porridge was certainly the most sensuous thing around (with its oats and fruitiness), but it wasn’t how I had planned to spend my breakfast..: )

  2. Oh this is very clever… I love the idea if you dig a little deeper treasures are found… obviously the man in the conversation is a surface dweller..very shallow indeed. A wonderfully accomplished poem Rowan. 🙂

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