Monday, December 12, 2005

Layers

Archaeologists of the heart
could learn much
from these white stoneware mugs
cooling
between our hands
as we lean toward each other
over a small round table
in public intimacy.
Each conversational spurt
each thoughtful pause
each smile
each telling hesitation
each sip of milky coffee
deposits another
creamy brown line
left clinging
to our cups'
respective walls
building a picture
of differing intervals
shot through with
changing textures
irregularities
and darker threads
down to the bottom
that would tell the story
of our time
to one trained
in their interpretation.
Each layer is distinct
a new geological stratum
in a cross section
that marks the progress
of our conversation
and our love
in this cafe window
each layer
another ├Žon
or a blink in time
depending on
whether one takes
a short
or a long
view of relationships.

7 comments:

Fingers said...

...also depending on which side of the window you are on...

Another one for coffee.
Cheers.

Fingers said...

Wasn't this poem called something else a short while ago, or is it only my imagination?

coyote said...

Yes, it was. Actually, I revise a fair number of things once they're online, but this is the first title. It's a process. I just thought after an hour or two of rolling it around my mouth that Sharing lattes seemed ho-hum for the inferential world of relationship archaeology, so I, uh, changed it for something that sounded more sideways. I'm gonna guess that you weren't the only reader to notice my post-post edit -- the counter software suggests that I may have really messed up those poor RSS fans...

Fingers said...

Why don't these RSS fans leave you comments?

'Sharing lattes' had layers too. Maybe not as many or as crisp as 'layers' itself... I thought it was more personal and intimate. However, 'personal' is subjective too.

I like the poem and the detail that makes the basis of it...

:)

coyote said...

Yes, those lurkers. And people say we coyotes are a lurky lot...

You're right about the previous title being more intimate. I suppose I was thinking that archaeology tends to be pursued at some remove from the subject -- usually thousands, or at least a mittful of hundreds, of years. So that's why I distanced the title.

The detail's kind of fun, isn't it? I've visited digs where the colour and texture of the earth in the walls of those very straight-sided excavations -- rocks, soil and all the other bits -- really did look like a much larger version of the bubbly spindrift left on the sides of a cup after you drink foamy coffee. Who knows why I connected the two...

Anonymous said...

I don't know that we've ever shared latte's, but we are overdue for coffee. How about this weekend?

coyote said...

Nonny! So glad you've lurched out of lurk mode after all this time! Yes, the weekend sounds ideal. We'll set up the details someplace where the world isn't watching.