Cafe Coco (poetry)

In one such re-birthed home off Elliston,
a neo-beatnik coffee-beer-food joint spills
red neon light into the street
where dusky jazz from the “Backdeck”
skitters with dead leaves
down the cracked one-way blacktop—
falls and rises with the daredevil sparrows
that dive-bomb the al fresco eaters’ feet
looking for renegade Tater Tots.

On a cloud of sweet clove cigarette smoke
the hustle of something like
multigenerational intellectualism
floats over the noise
while the silver-haired owner
buses the tables himself,
wearing jean shorts,
white socks,
and Jesus sandals, worn-through.

-M. Ashley

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