The peace and quiet
inside the coffee shop snow globe
and comforted by food —
coffee and monkey
bread — for a half hour
should be to muffle a mind
and silence cell phones —
let’s enjoy life’s movie for a moment
(it’s a crucial scene)
— and detach eyes a little
to let them hang and stay still
instead of dart at a whimper
of a distraction. Cue a customer
asking to sit at the table
adjacent and detached
to mine. And I allow it.
The earthquake that shifted
the ground, generating cracks
to expel poison from the core,
came in the form an apparition
with a choking hand reaching
from the neck of his person.
And I didn’t know Abercrobie & Fitch
had a mobile store. Similar to food trucks,
prejudiced retail could have been convincing
enough to make anyone believe
in new scratch-and-sniff —
minus the scratch
— walking, talking billboard entities.
His vocal hushed, polite forwardness
was compensated by perfume DDT
supersaturating the skin
to ensure the death of pheromones.
And the symphony steadily spews rapid
notes. The crescendo, beginning
with clicking icon dings and clangs
from a cellphone radiating electrodes;
when combined with the cologne, the emphasis
is powerful enough to take out pastures of cows.
And cows are rural.
He speaks as loud as his cell phone announcement
of a blaring call. After 20 minutes
of foreign Spanish/French, the call is pillowed. But
the phone is awakened with more clanging
of numbers and letters raining from the clouds.
And the crescendo heightens! For another
irrelevant character steps in the nook
that is designated as my (temporary) bench.
And this cell phone converses with other,
one inanimate object on a date with the other,
but it’s not on purpose, it’s their first time meeting.
As the latter conductor stands,
his clicks fountain up and over to the ground.
Finally, this too-close-for-comfort
electronic banter, departs without an exchange.
The empty page is filled.
The A&F mobile retail cologne department speeds away.
In the quiet, the mind does not know what to do,
as the eyes are too startled to blink.
The snow still falls, swaying as hanging strung lights.
Where was this ten minutes ago?
The title of the book is only referenced once in its body:
It’s a headline.