Sunday Brunch at Cafe Patachou

Michael Brockley

The waitress serves me a mocha latte with my Omelette You Can’t Refuse. She tells me my drink was made with oat milk while I debate the merits of dishes named after movie lines. Some like it hot. Gentlemen prefer blondes. Like the old steel worker I am, I wonder how oats are milked. How the improbable rises to plate du jour. The barista swirled a heart on top of my beverage. And the wheat toast I ordered as a side is almost as delicious as a French pastry. When I sip my drink, I taste a hint of mocha and the creamy flavor of an exotic milk.  Later I walk past the stalls and kiosks of a neighborhood art fair, where I admire black-and-white photographs of an Underwood typewriter with a sheet of paper rolled halfway up the scroll. The only word in any of the mounted photos is “Love.” Followed by a comma, a pause. The machine of a vintage that might have been used by Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum if either had played Ernest Hemingway or Dashiell Hammett. The waitress spoke with a Caribbean lilt. And wore dreamcatcher earrings and a Killing Eve t-shirt. I’m lost in Indianapolis, far away from the gyro deli where I once wrote a poem about a phone haunted by the calls of someone else’s jilted lovers. I’ve arrived at my destination without any memories of my journey. Where I search for the answers to questions I no longer understand.

Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana where he needs to have a tree cut down so his pollinator garden can get more sun. His poems have appeared in Hobo Camp Review and Wild Word. Poems are forthcoming in Book of Matches and Unbroken.

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