I used to mock my father and his chums
for getting up early on Sunday morning
and drinking coffee at a local spot,
but now I’m one of those chumps.
No one cares about my old humiliations,
but they go on dragging through my sleep
like a string of empty tin cans rattling
behind an abandoned car.
It’s like this: just when you think
you have forgotten that red-haired girl
who left you stranded in a parking lot
forty years ago, you wake up
early enough to see her disappearing
around the corner of your dream
on someone else’s motorcycle,
roaring onto the highway at sunrise.
And so now I’m sitting in a dimly lit
café full of early-morning risers,
where the windows are covered in soot
and the coffee is warm and bitter.