Fair Trade

Five:
Gulping bitter coffee,
drinking active brain cells
to get me through a lecture
that makes me laugh
and makes me feel inadequate,
praying for a moment of clarity.

Four:
Slurping cold espresso,
mourning dead brain cells —
drowned in hops and barley
under the guise of celebration —
reading black letters,
sometimes comprehending them.

Three:
Sipping black coffee,
gently waking brain cells
that danced
til late last night,
preemptively celebrating
the end in sight.

Two:
Drinking an Irish Coffee,
calming exhausted brain cells,
chatting with my Maker
and relaxing
for the first time
since Five.

One:
Gulping free coffee,
reviving catatonic brain cells
and settling a nervous stomach
while all I can think of
is escape
in another Irish Coffee.

Zero:
Enjoying warm, free coffee,
letting happy brain cells
indulge in creativity,
confident and calm
now that the moment of clarity
is no longer just a moment.

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