Requiem for Afternoon

Posted by - December 20, 2016 - Issue No. 16.3


  1. preheat San Francisco to 43 degrees. prepare calfskin wallet. forget change for those who beg.
  2. take a window seat. assure your companion you are not blocking the map.
  3. think the map lines look like Hemingway’s rivers. think red and silver water running against hard dark earth.
  4. scoop into the quiet as though into yogurt. talk small about people you know, places where you used to: live.
  5. exit at Montgomery. follow GoogleMaps to the tea garden. take one very wrong turn.
  6. moon over the cathedral. think of a matador’s cape washed in bleach.
  7. speak in flower tones. don’t be rude. read the grilled cheese ingredients (three times over).
  8. recite menu like chamber song. think the grilled cheese comes with pear. remember Ian’s shirt that hue: muted green. how he smells of Tide.
  9. order two matcha shakes (con sugar, almond milk).
  10. guess the lawn color: racing green (1652)?
  11. salt the eggs. slice canary pools. think of fucking and of Ian. also death. try not to think at all.
  12. expect the conversation warm like a heated blanket waited for. find it lukewarm. eat.
  13. pay the bill with a mediocre tip and a Keatsian signature.
  14. in the tea garden think of learning electron levels w/ unripe blueberries.
  15. remember the antiseptic cream the night Ian told you you were going to die sometime.
  16. think how you kissed him. His mouth’s wetness.
  17. inside the cathedral think that a matador, age 29, had died with a horn to the: heart.
  18. find blue Jolly ranchers in the stained glass.
  19. waste a dollar on a goodwill candle. have difficulty lighting one.
  20. ask GoogleMaps to locate Starbucks. enter an esplanade thinking of marble and caffeine. beg salvation. don’t mumble.
  21. curse Google Maps.
  22. watch lovers embrace over suitcases at the station. think the rain through the lights means something beautiful.
  23. make coffee at home. when your companion leaves their cup search the remnants for: truth.
  24. Google reading tea leaves.
  25. let someone drape a red wool blanket over you. think of the dead matador and of coffee.


ABOUT THE POET: Alexandra A. Reinecke is a writer and journalist who uses writing as a tool to encourage empathy and affect positive change.

Photo © 2016 Roberto Trombetta