‘Sunlight & Coffee’

TheStoryIsTheThing.com photoillustration. | aug2021

A waitress, taking in the air
outside, looks up from the
Cincinnati street. Returns

inside. Tells the waiter
with the squirrelly pony tail,
‘A flock of geese just went by!

‘In a vee,’ she says. 
Showing with her fingers
a sidewise ‘V.’


This pen wants to speak.
But what is there to say?
About the sunlight in the 

store opposite the cafe.
Lighting foreheads of the
customers in the poor folks’

grocery. I think I’d like to
photograph these
illuminated skulls behind

the glass. A misdemeanor,
of the liberal, artistic sort? 
To capture others’ attractive

squalor. You call it just
getting by. From my catbird
seat, sipping a double

cappuccino. Considering art,
first. Then, guilt. Then, art.
Then, guilt.


I want to run and embrace
this tulip-yellow light. But
where? Where do I stand and

meet it all? Face to face with
beauty bigger than myself, I
quail. Sit in my broken chair —

one slat’s missing. Thinking,
maybe it’s the coffee in my

that makes me
mad to kiss 
the sun.

~ cincinnati, 1989

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This reminds me of my summers in Ithaca New York when I would eat outside downtown at a table under a Cinzano umbrella in the morning by Lake Cayuga, people watching.

Douglas Imbrogno says:

A can mark my life’s chapters in cappuccinos and coffeeshops. Thanks for your own vivid image!

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