Civic but no longer civil
dribble thin poetics

like fundamental lack of substance.
But we work, don’t we, fundamental.

This is a different crowd, isn’t it,
stooping in the Metro. You sweeten

your coffee and I love you for it.
These morning grinds annotate

a strange despair, or despairing,
constrict strangle. The droning

ache of infrastructure like a muscle
disremembered. Yet we exercise it daily,

our despair, I mean. Retch
wretched, like wrecked. Cleaned

out dry like slacks, khaki pressed.
Our lacks make for vivid dreams.

There is some evidence,
from figurative art, of trousers

being worn in the Upper Paleolithic.
The history of coffee is steeped—

well, you get the picture. Those pants
sure fit you well. I want to say

that I’d always questioned
the free coffee, but that’s not true.

I have treasured every sip.