Kay Elle

We’ve only just shaken hands
and introduced ourselves —
so good to meet you,
heard so much about you —
and already she’s said “fuck”
and offered to buy me a scone.

While she’s in line,
I read a few more pages
of 100 Deadly Skills,
its hazard yellow cover
a stark contrast to the earthy tones
of the vegan coffee shop.

She’s asked me for advice,
and I mark my comments
on her paper
with a sturdy black pen,
pausing occasionally
to sip dark roast.

She takes pages of notes
in a sketchbook
with a purple marker,
stopping every so often
to try the mango cayenne kombucha.

We stand up to leave,
and as I extend my hand
to shake hers again,
she embraces me instead.

We take the same path in the cold
and say goodbye —
so great to have met you,
thanks for taking the time —
and drive opposite directions home.

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