mocha for musa

the African Horn blows ancient blues
as sandship pirates pillage shores for hobby
second cousins Musa’s since forgotten
as he scans the quiet midnight hotel lobby
Eritrean jackpot green card lotto
first flight one way trip to SFO
knew soon as silver plane took off
the “good” part of “goodbye”
to be reborn a phoenix gotta fly
thirty ninth west Telegraph in Oakland
downtown Asmara relocated scene
advertising “Ethiopian” cuisine
all-male crowd with eyes fixed on the flat screen
watching La Liga derbies
live from Spain midweek midday
then park bench convo afternoons
light naps tri-habitated rooms
evening en masse commute out of MacArthur
security guard graveyard gigs
pay fourteen bucks an hour
Musa’s teflon sunny mood self manifests
does not dark cloud consider
when deciding clothes to wear
disinterested in news reports
tone deaf to their tabloid despair
forgives the police hassle
when mistaken profiled local
no good time female chasing
bachelor budget patient pacing
watchers whisper wagers
predicting the fast won’t last
that Man’s ambitions always lead to vice
but Musa takes that cold leftover pizza slice
from the front desk dick with gracious gratitude
savoring each cheezy morsel chewed
morning shift end celebration
pilgrimage to Webster street
Musa’s gotta sweet tooth for a mermaid
potion mixing sweet-tailed emerald muse
mother of exiled modern wretched refuse
Lady Liberty of twenty-first century
patriotically aroused by the aroma
recalls each time the first time scent seduced
steps beyond the immigration shuffle
where officer with face he can’t remember
offered only silence with that golden-plated stamp
but the brilliant young barista
swami cafe cognoscenti
read his thirsty soul and suggested mocha venti
then when he uttered “Moses” by a miracle misheard
despite pronunciation careful rehearsed on the bird
marker scribbling “MUSA” hastily on side of cup
like some Ellis Island registrar of yore
metamorphosis completing for the new-named Eritrean
who first sipped the taste of freedom from her pour

  • mocha for musa.mp33:16