Funny the softest voice I know Would choose as her favorite A spot besieged by noise.
Tucked behind dividing walls Safe from the incoming crowd Whose outgoing charms are Warm as milk but overly-sweet.
Here she whispers virtues: Of coffee strong and black, Of forty-year-old wine, And others unheard, buried beneath The din of ink-skinned servers’ Steam and grind.
Once I heard a story: A Zen master spoke near open windows And chose not to pause as planes passed by For one in the crowd, his muffled words Triggered the insight for which all had come: Words, at last, are not the thing; We’ve come here to be, not speak.
Today I am her audience of one Grateful for the steam and grind A jet-loud noise that buries words Just long enough to hear One sweet thought rise like steam From an unsweetened cup: “Let’s just be, here, for a while.”
And suddenly this noisy spot Now oddly wise Becomes my favorite, too.