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Smelling the Coffee

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Before the daily grind,

I’m drawn in, intoxicated

by the aroma of fresh-roasted.

The barista calls out the WiFi code

to the artisanally acquainted.

Briefly, we debate the demerits

of the disposable cup.

He tosses his head,

all smiles and white teeth,

decorative as the drinks he serves.

I head out, head down,

mouth grazing the too-hot plastic lip.

Last night’s documentary still brewing.

Something jars, remembering those workers,

slaves of the coffee plantation,

their day’s labour worth less

than my coins rattling in the till.

I feel them eye me from afar,

their silent stares

taking in my full, throwaway cup.

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