by Renée Masur
I stand outside this coffee shop
as rain batters the pavement.
It spits up the puddles –
looks just like
the ground is raining.
I spark up this cigarette.
At my feet, a soggy mutt
whimpering at his captor –
a parking meter.
Inside, a guy at his laptop
eyes fixed to the screen. He barely notices
the coffee set in front of him.
A girl, tapping at her cellphone;
she can’t contribute to a conversation
even when her friend
is in front of her.
The girlfriend, sipping her latté,
shunning my smoke break,
but she is warm
Low-pitched squeals erupt from the dog.
He searches through the windowpane,
sits, then rapidly stands, in a puddle
of piss and rain, which crawls up my pant legs.
I shiver; he shakes, flinging water.
I toss the butt
in the wake of the wet dog.
The people here are so preoccupied
with their digital conversations,
their grandé cappuccinos,
I wonder if they notice
there’s a rainbow across the mountain.
They’ve trapped themselves inside this place
so I trap myself outside with a dog.
We both wait together in the rain
until our owners retrieve us
for the walk home.