In the backside of the coffee shop

he sits in a mist of smoke

while the coffee worshippers

suck their coffee up through

those little slits in the cups and burn

their tongues

and choke.

And they wont eat anything

for the rest of the day because

their mouths feel like sand and

their blood is burning mocha

and Mr Bell sits in his circle of smoke


this is how they lose weight.


Sitting amongst their bloodshot faces,

it is difficult to relax.

It isn’t enough to sit –

you have to fit; drink through

a slit, in a paper cup,

or get up.

And what pressure is this!

Thinks Mr Bell.


Occasionally he will lift his

sleeves and feel the hairs

soft and fine.

And scratch down from the elbow

enjoying the slippery give

of the tendons underneath.

The chills he’d get,

and then forget, all the sipping, tripping,

staring faces. He’d go places.


Smiling in his cloud of smoke

he thinks,

what a selfish man I am.

All these caffeine eyes

are gazing at each other.

But not me!

I am just watching –


Mr Bell, you are by far


the most interesting man in

the world. Take my hand,

I understand. I know you

too well

Mr Bell.


Now he stands.

He takes a bow and says:

Thank you for your twitching

stares and sunken iodine smiles –


but I’ll be gone a while

to keep the silence company

in case it gets lonely without me.

So long, my latte lovers, spiced darlings, your attention has been

so delicious.

I’m afraid my drink has gone cold,

its rush hasn’t got a hold

on me.


And I’m fine.


So Mr Bell leaves, head high

scarf wrapped tight around his throat

and tosses away his paper cup.

Makes the trip



where the circle of smoke is gone.

The quiet is gold; the emptiness full.

There is some comfort in not

knowing, what will become

of Mr Bell. His lack of coffee today

means he sleeps well.


This precious moment worries him.

He craves it, he

must save it.

So Mr Bell gets up and pours

the water. Adores the water.

Doesn’t sip it. Tips it.


And back in place

the rich scent of the coffee lovers

silenced in the heat of the covers

pulled over his face.






CategoriesNikita Singh Read