The Morning Rush

It happens this way every morning,

the inevitable hour of seven o'clock

each creeping minute a crystalline drop of tension in the blood

scheduled to burst, to sweep through veins

with faintness and trembling the moment she appears

as a vision distorted in gritty panes or waxing chrome on bar,

sometimes nothing more than an elusive waft of men's cologne

weaving through the syrupy bitter sweetness of this café- subdued today

smoldering beneath a haze of smoke that mutes its glory,

our climbing star's stretched fingers barely dither on the threshold

as the door opens, and the crisp silhouette of her burns insidious

as heart dives straight into kneecaps, wobbling, spiking the belly with anxiety

and with all those minutes rushing giddy and gleeful en vital there's no time

so voice cracks as you take her order and hands shake as you take her money,

and when fingers graze your gazes meet and spark and skitter

because the knowing is too much for both-she moves away

and ears labor only for the silence of the door swinging shut behind her,

even as you smile and laugh, chatting with the man in the long grey overcoat

who waited after her, and ease is easy as hands fly across the screen

and lithe fingers stay well away from his blunted,

and for a moment intensity studies your face from across the room, substantial as touch,

leaving a spot of warmth when the silence is heard and flat emptiness

takes its place as the foundation of tomorrow's crescendo.