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the girl who talked to the dead
sat on a stool by the window
sipping a latte, acting just like 
any other grown up she knew
at least 
the ones who could 
afford $2.50 for a cup of Joe
on a cold January morning.

i knew her from the tilt of her head,
the shadows
that lived in her eyes.
sleep held her hostage
on those nights
when the barometer fell
when night stretched
thin piercing holes
into the late afternoon.

she felt young to me.
what does someone so young know
about death anyway.

there are no text books for this class.
you either have it or you don't.

she did.

she blew the heat from the edge of her cup
i knew coffee, but not her love of it
it felt like history
tasted of the dirt under her feet
thick and full

steam hit my face
enveloped me in scent
i had forgotten

she was there to take me home
that is what the steam said
and the smile in her eyes. 

copyright/all rights reserved 2018 Audrey Howitt

Posted for D'verse and for Poets United

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