Is coffee ever just coffee?
What about tea?
In this fumbling metropolis
They are a type of fuel,
Fuel for the people,
Oiling up corporate robots
And keeping consuming machines ticking.
Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Gulp, gulp, gulp.
A patter of cups-to-go
On office furniture
And bulk-bought desks
Adds to the whir
Of caffeinated conversations.
Coffee is language,
To go for coffee is to communicate,
Transmit consumer ideas
And keep clogs working with a
Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Gulp, gulp, gulp,
“Do you want to go for coffee
And communicate ideas?”
The heat might melt ice,
The caffeine might get us talking,
And one of us might say
Something stupid.
Wouldn’t that be bliss?
We could talk to the sounds
Of clinking cups on plates
And rattling coins at the register
And the roar of the grinder,
One machine producing hundreds,
All of it going
Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Gulp, gulp, gulp,
Well, we could.
That’s all I’m saying, we could.
We could go for coffee
And it wouldn’t just be coffee
And we wouldn’t just be clogs.
I think.
We might not even say
Anything important,
So long as we sit there,
Sipping from cups
And watching the time go
Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Gulp, gulp, gulp,
“Well, what did you want to say?
Why are we even here?
Convince me.”
People could come and go,
Clattering shoes and heels
On coffee-shop floors
And rustling newspapers
Under shelter, for protection,
And we could sit in silence
Until they asked for more of our money
To feed the beast
That oils the city
And rushes about in streets
As tides of people move indoors.
And we could sit there
Trying to make coffee
Be just coffee
Until they booted us out,
And never have an answer,
And it wouldn’t even matter.
All the caffeine in the world
Couldn’t answer that question,
Of coffee’s existence, and ours.
The only word I could ever say is


About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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