Coffee Shop

by Deborah Oster Pannell

He wore his hip in his hips, his lips

She wanted to know if he would lick the edges

When he pulled the coffee cup from his mouth

A bit of foam clung to his moustache

She watched it there, wondering if he would

Twirl it off with his fingers

Or lick it, his tongue darting out like a trap

She decided that the longer he let it hang there

The greater the chance that he would

Ask for her number

She waited

He smiled at her

And she felt sorry for him

Because he had this thing hanging on his face

She wondered if he had been the top dog

In the locker room, or the one who

Feared the lash of the washcloth

When he pushed off the foam with his napkin

She thought, he must be an accountant, or a copy editor

She wondered about the women he kissed

And if they wore cherryred lipstick

and bit roughly at his mouth