“Hospitality” by Sydney Dixon

oddly enough, you can still
taste what’s left over of a person
when your lips are on the rim of their coffee mug.

the bitterness of the coffee, the sweetness of the creamer
the menthol chill of their chap stick
and the smooth, three syllable chuckle that passes through their lips
as they touch their mouth to the rim of their coffee mug
because of something you said while talking to empty chairs
that makes them smile at no one in particular as they leave the room.

i have seen many people with insomniac eyes
dull and gaping, glazed over, with purple half-moons underneath
weighing them down.
their eyelashes bat up and then fall back, slowly,
collecting dust.

drinking their “morning coffee” throughout every hour of the evening
and absentmindedly running chap stick over their weather-beaten lips.
when someone later asks me why i’ve been staring at the wall for twenty minutes
i taste their words and say, “i’m just a little tired.”

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