By Eric LaFountain
Slower mornings are so much better than those
track race mornings, when the gun went off and the
sprinting began in a frantic a.m. rush.
I can’t sprint anymore,
I don’t know where that sprinter went,
I prefer if he never returns.
I’ll take my coffee in bed on a Wednesday.
Please don’t rush me or expect a prompt response.
I’m busy smelling the fresh brew now (it has notes of pecan and milk chocolate).
I like resting the warm mug on my naked
stomach and the phrase “mocha java,” the way it sounds
said aloud, how it makes my mouth water.
Are you seriously still trying to reach me?
The deadline has passed and everything is okay.
Our world is closed, our world opened, our world closed again.
I barely noticed.
Coffee beans should be oily, fragrant, decadent.
And the morning should be wide open and roomy to enjoy all of those sips.
I already told you I’m not on your timeline.
I already told you I’m not up to task.
You’re too loud, and I don’t like the sound of your voice.
It’s a bus fume voice, there are so many
bus fume voices, bad for the health, bad to be near and breathe in.
Someone told me once about Hunter-Gatherers, how they only
hunted a couple hours a day, at most, then spent the rest
relaxing in rivers and napping and having sex.
So can’t you see I’m a Hunter-Gatherer?
What’s so hard to understand?
Can we maybe try this again, start over?
Do you like the smell of my coffee?
Would you like to have some and lay in my bed?
Just climb in already, get comfortable.
I’m sorry but I forgot what we were talking about.
I forgot if the world is closed or opened or has closed again.
Eric LaFountain lives and teaches in Miami. His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Potomac Review, Jabberwock Review, Hobart, and Pleiades. He’s currently working on a YA novel about an abandoned boy and abandoned cat. You can follow him on Instagram @eric.lafountain.
This past year has been remarkable, in the best and worst of ways. (Her)oics Anthology is a collection of essays by women about the lived pandemic experience. Documenting the experiences of women both on the front lines and in their private lives, this book is an important record of the power, strength and ingenuity of women.