Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dark Roast

The taste of that darkness
knocked me back into my chair.
My tongue fought against the
backs of my stained teeth,
struggling to break from the prison
of my jaw, so rigid.
Even the strongest muscle,
which my body has prepared
for these very battles,
is crippled by the bitter
sip of espresso.
No one warned me
that this small ounce
of mature flavor
is aptly named a shot.
A shot through my palate,
once soft before the shock
that heavied my mouth like cement.
A shot through the maze in my brain,
caffeine setting fire
to those once dumb parts.
A shot through my heart,
hardly equipped for these impulses in excess.
A shot, an injury, a bitter realization.
Is this a thing, a dark thing,
that becomes less terrible with age?
I cannot imagine that now,
my tongue still seeking
an unstained cavity
for just a moment of distraction.
The taste that remains is dull,
and throbs mildly in my veins.
A very forgettable pain.
The foreign baristas, those robust lovers,
have mastered this sensory weapon.
They have tamed the beast, or learned to live with it,
to learn from it,
letting it only control the moment.
This was my first encounter,
and so young.
I hear you grow used to the flavor,
with experience.
A taste easier to swallow,
in time.