Smells like home

I miss breathing

inside Detroit

coffee shops,

warm and Black-owned,

unworried

’bout cops

being called

on us,

for our being

is not a crime.

*

I miss Detroit Sip

on McNichols:

affirming words

topping tables

like cloth,

beverages named

after neighborhoods

like sons and daughters.

I miss sharing silence there,

making pages

and verses

with writers

all because we decided

to show up.

*

I miss Narrow Way

on Livernois,

the unmatched dignity

of feeling seen

and wanted

as soon as I entered.

“Issa Whole Vibe”

aesthetics

poppin’

from the booths

to the bathrooms.

*

I miss Detroit Vintage

on 8 Mile and Birwood,

a hideaway nook

of books,

decor,

dialogue

delicate.

Black women

pouring love

into mugs

on the weekends

only,

serving paninis

on plates prepared

like gifts:

presentation

is everything.

*

I miss drinking

hot cocoa

and boiling tea

with the last few dollars

I had for the month,

thrilled

to be reckless

and give

my tongue away

to the burn

of impatience.

*

I miss

people watching,

poetry listening,

ear hustling,

catching up,

getting wise,

maybe not doing

a dang ol’ thing.

I miss

those days,

like winter days

when I want to be alone

and surrounded,

simultaneously.

Something

so simple

as sitting

at a table

for one

and

breathing

inside a Black

Detroit

caffeinated home

has been stolen

by necessity.

*

Healing,

come soon,

so we can gather

and grow,

be and keep

our homes

away from home

alive

with uncovered breath,

grateful.

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