Cafe Talk – by Miranda Steffens

of things said – I’m afraid of – in light – the chair wasn’t – expecting you here – you aren’t here –
talk to your – spots in the air – umbrella – sunshine – hopeful or not if – cups of chocolate –
ashtrays – hair accessories – enter the scene between us we’d find – never the link – if he’d call
me and tell me where he’d meet me I’d be there – there’s a dog on the street smelling feet – all
the feet – all the shoed and shoed feet – if light were to enter – if trains were to go – umbrellas –
lifted – snow – to the snow – we’d find no rest – here, I miss you – I’m sure you know the clouds
are all in order – they’re in order – they keep time from gray morning – to white noon – to
perfectly kept fields of – I miss you today – miss you and miss you – and always pretend less
than before – always distract myself more – and more – (and stop) – she wears a blue shirt and
white scarf around her neck like trust – but it’s not her clothes – it’s the way she looks up

Miranda Steffens is the author of Peripheral Vision (Meekling Press), a long form lyric essay. She received her MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has appeared in Pioneertown, Entropy, South Dakota Review, Hoot Magazine, Ginger Piglet, Apple Valley Review, Upstairs at Duroc and others. Visit her at:

Photographer’s Note: I thought about umbrellas. And cafes. And talk. And then I selected this photo for this poem.