Café Espresso

A Poem by Sandy Lulay


[Ed. With this poem, Sandy Lulay is retiring as Swans' in-house poet. Our heartfelt thanks go to Sandy for sharing her sensitivity and creativity over the past two years.]

Ribbons of coffee house smoke
Dancing with espresso steam caught me
Trying to find the spaces between your words.
You sat on a stool, legs wrapped in tight, faded jeans.
Your style of singing... it's stringing
I heard someone say... Do you ever breathe?

My cousin's chatter changed the scene.
She'd heard about you from the crowd at school.
They say Bob Dylan sings to trees,
Sleeps in barns, drinks rain out of broken cups,
He's insane, a nut...

I wondered how it must feel to sleep in barns.
What did it cost to be so free and only seventeen.
You were an angel wearing guitar string wings.

And on that night,
Singing at the Café Espresso,
You were the way of summer in Woodstock;
A song, a harmonica, a walk down Tinker Street,
Tourists, arts and crafts displayed.

Still, I recall you as fey,
And remember how I hummed off key
The tunes you so easily played.

And even today
I can see in your eyes the distance that defined
The same shy part of me.
The faded purple circles left behind in our minds
Made by the bruises of a thought too deep,
The passion to live a dream.

I'll always wonder why dreams so easily
Escape reality.... but I'm glad you wrote the songs.
I think about them when the moon looks up at me
From the cream in my coffee... until it's gone.

I'm glad you wrote the songs.

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Sandy Lulay, originally from Woodstock, New York, is a resident of Stuart, Florida. Lulay is an "Original Woodstock Girl" who has been writing poetry since age ten. Many of her poems have been published both in Woodstock and Stuart's Sleeping Bear Review.

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Poems and Essays published in 2002 | 2001


Published December 16, 2002
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