I looked over at you and just past you,
beyond your shiny espresso eyes no longer
shielded by that bullet proof glass, to
images of other men who remain
mounted on the wood panelled walls,
whose stares dot the dusty photographs. These native
California sons, their brown hats and dirty
moustaches melt like chocolate shavings
into the coffee bean roaster and the sienna burlap bags
that make up Orchard Valley’s decor–
And while Billy may have remembered the orange
of the citrus and the bean thingy and vinegar jar
more clearly than the person with whom he sat-
I, from the other side of humanity, saw you–
the perfect joy of many lives, your utter sense of youthful
exuberance captured in the grand laugh.
Contemplative moments as we talk of women, futures,
puppy dog perfections,
and mundane amazements brought on by
the differneces in an iphone 4 and 5–
as your world becomes smaller and larger
at the same time.
And I, like Billy only in this way,
will always remember the moment.
Even when I forget the name of the shop,
or the vacant stare of the pachuco who began
as a farm hand and ended up on the
walls of the coffeeshop, I will remember
you and what you are becoming,
you, who saw the horizon,
and chose to fly instead of climb.
*Billy Collins wrote “This Much I Do Remember” which a friend shared with me; yes, the friend at the coffeeshop.