by A.A. REINECKE
- preheat San Francisco to 43 degrees. prepare calfskin wallet. forget change for those who beg.
- take a window seat. assure your companion you are not blocking the map.
- think the map lines look like Hemingway’s rivers. think red and silver water running against hard dark earth.
- scoop into the quiet as though into yogurt. talk small about people you know, places where you used to: live.
- exit at Montgomery. follow GoogleMaps to the tea garden. take one very wrong turn.
- moon over the cathedral. think of a matador’s cape washed in bleach.
- speak in flower tones. don’t be rude. read the grilled cheese ingredients (three times over).
- 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.
- order two matcha shakes (con sugar, almond milk).
- guess the lawn color: racing green (1652)?
- salt the eggs. slice canary pools. think of fucking and of Ian. also death. try not to think at all.
- expect the conversation warm like a heated blanket waited for. find it lukewarm. eat.
- pay the bill with a mediocre tip and a Keatsian signature.
- in the tea garden think of learning electron levels w/ unripe blueberries.
- remember the antiseptic cream the night Ian told you you were going to die sometime.
- think how you kissed him. His mouth’s wetness.
- inside the cathedral think that a matador, age 29, had died with a horn to the: heart.
- find blue Jolly ranchers in the stained glass.
- waste a dollar on a goodwill candle. have difficulty lighting one.
- ask GoogleMaps to locate Starbucks. enter an esplanade thinking of marble and caffeine. beg salvation. don’t mumble.
- curse Google Maps.
- watch lovers embrace over suitcases at the station. think the rain through the lights means something beautiful.
- make coffee at home. when your companion leaves their cup search the remnants for: truth.
- Google reading tea leaves.
- let someone drape a red wool blanket over you. think of the dead matador and of coffee.
ABOUT THE POET: A. A. Reinecke’s work has most recently appeared in the Claremont Review, and Pulchritude Press. She writes every morning at 5 AM, opposite a print of “View of the World from 9th Avenue” and often beside a glass of Thai iced coffee. In adulthood she plans to write books and live in the woods.
Photo © 2016 Roberto Trombetta