Coffee Grounds

Sixteen ounces of Coffee,
White cream, a stream of attempted calm enveloped by darkness.

I’m used to things cooling down quickly,
But this sealed-up thermos burns my tongue
Every time I sip from it.


I think I’m supposed to write this about how
I ended senior year in a shlump,
I had a line that rhymed and it’s gone.

And about seminary and how the release of oppression,
Or really the room for self-expression,
Is what gave me the confidence I need to dominate today.


And Thank Gd for mentors who say
How much I’ve really grown
And point out each milestone
That I don’t notice because I’m too caught up in being myself

And noticing every wrong deed or act that still has to occur.
Guess life’s really a blur


Maybe this is the feeling of sixteen ounces of coffee
Even on a full stomach making me jittery
It was brewed for seniors but it’s pretty strong stuff.

Maybe my spoken word can be about repeated themes
Continuously broken dreams
Being too vulnerable to the wrong people.

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Losing wallets to learn lessons – but what is my lesson this time?
I wasn’t being arrogant like I was in Israel,
There was no late night in the Old City ending in a strange taxi.

I was just walking the walk I usually walk, listening to people talk a little too loudly through my headphones.


Is it a lesson in Tefillah? Huh?
Somewhere I missed a beat?
Gotta take more time to meet Gd and repeat?
My inner shovevah says nah, not too much.

I can’t be praying only because I want something.
My prayers don’t come in an inconsistent ring.

But do I cut myself short from the chance to connect?

I mean, what do I really expect?
Will I suffer a cost for not reaching out?

Am I setting low standards for every breach of doubt?


Or maybe this is just the feeling of sixteen ounces of coffee
Of fighting the taste that pervades so bitterly
With smiles and jokes and the sweetness of cream.