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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Poem of the Week: Darling Coffee

Meena Alexander was an Indian poet, raised in India and the Sudan, while later studying in England. Her books of poetry (both verse and prose poems), her memoir, and her collaborations were informed by both Indian and American poets. The content of her work speaks often to her sense of identity and her experience with exile, yet she can craft a poem like the following that feels like it could roll off any tongue. Don't we all experience "the periodic pleasure / of small happenings"? With its brief lines and feeling images, I'll let Meena Alexander's poem speak for itself.

Darling Coffee

The periodic pleasure

of small happenings

is upon us—

behind the stalls

at the farmer’s market

snow glinting in heaps,

a cardinal its chest

puffed out, bloodshod

above the piles of awnings,

passion’s proclivities;

you picking up a sweet potato

turning to me ‘This too?’—

query of tenderness

under the blown red wing.

Remember the brazen world?

Let’s find a room

with a window onto elms

strung with sunlight,

a cafe with polished cups,

darling coffee they call it,

may our bed be stoked

with fresh cut rosemary

and glinting thyme,

all herbs in due season

tucked under wild sheets:

fit for the conjugation of joy.

- Meena Alexander

From Atmospheric Embroidery

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