Poetry: “Decaf” by Jonathan B. Aibel

The rest of the coffee
was disturbed by nightmares,

dreams of decaffeination machines,
as if all of its blood would be drained,
all bioflavonoids dropped into the fire,

life leached out of its midnight
beauty. I was coffee,
it cried to itself.

It was to wake
people to new heights
in art, especially if their medium

was flipping burgers on a greasy grill,
that was what it was grown to do,
absorbing Ecuadorian sun

roasted dark and bold and bitter,
to awaken souls. What demented person
thought of tearing its heart out,

to leave a ghost so pale
as to pass through the world
without touching it.


Jonathan B. Aibel is a recovering software engineer who lives in Concord, MA, homelands of the Nipmuc.  His poems have been published, or will soon appear, in Chautauqua, American Journal of Poetry, Lily Poetry Review, Ocean State Review, Pangyrus, and elsewhere.