Coffee with Hafiz.

by lauren hanna

Hafiz and shoes

I am in a love affair with Hafiz. His poems tickle my throat and turn the corners of my lips up. His words dance with my fingers as if I wrote them myself.

I sit in the streets with the homeless

If my alarm sings at 6:45 then I am out of bed by 7:03. I stagger to the coffeepot and pull it out from the open rack where it sits. The rack has six shelves on which our dishes, glasses, mugs and microwave precariously sit. We have no cabinets, save the ones we keep the oatmeal in. Once the oatmeal is put away there is no more room for dishes or coffee pots. We’ve lost almost all of the wine glasses to the tipping dance of the rack, each time you add a plate or take one away. They fall to the floor and throw their pieces across the tile, devastated, they lie there. But so I am careful then as I take the coffee pot and set it on a wooden Ikea chair. It is a small coffee pot. It can make four cups.

My clothes stained with the wine

From the vineyards the saints tend.

They say that when you live with someone long enough you’ll forget who brought what into the home. Well, I remember that he brought the coffee pot but I use it everyday so maybe that makes it mine. We haven’t lived together long. The coffee brews as I brush my teeth, take my makeup off from the night before, and hover my face above the faucet as I drown my skin in fresh, breathless morning water. He is sleeping and I am fighting for the faucet with the cat, who demands I leave the water on for her drinking pleasure. I acquiesce. She is easy to please.

Light has painted all acts

The same color

I return to the bedroom where small murmurs come from under the sheets. Murmurs of quiet demand for me to wrap my arms around the human mummy whose face is smashed under a pillow. I pull the blinds open and feel the chill of the morning come through our open apartment window. We have three windows total in this one bedroom apartment. One once held an AC unit but in a gesture of love he removed it so I could see more of the trees outside of the window while lying on my side of the bed. My side, the side closest to the door.

So I sit around and laugh all day

With my friends.

He comes home last at night but I am the one who dead bolts the door. No intruders welcome here. A woman murdered on Naudain Street by the exterminator. She was strangled and then set on fire. A woman died on 20th and Delancey, found naked face down in a tub of water. Prescription pills and alcohol lay nearby. She was a paralegal, 26-years-old, and dating one of the highest profile homicide attorneys in the city. And then a building collapsed at 21st and Market. Six dead and fourteen wounded. Is anybody free from fear? We have to use the fire escape to take our trash out on Tuesday nights. We make a lot of trash. One of my favorite times is right after the trash goes out and I feel like I’ve purged somehow.

At night I feel a divine loneliness

I tear the doors off Love’s mansion

I can hear that the coffee is no longer dripping so I go to pour myself a cup. A cup now, a cup after practice. No coffee, no prana Guruji says. The mug I use is the same one I use everyday. I bought it at a shop in Manayunk. It was part of a pair, made of clay. I bought it when I should have been buying Christmas presents for others. I bought four mugs and gave two to my sister and her husband, and kept two for me. I’m not sure why I needed the pair, since at the time I was only one. Who did I think was going to drink out of the second one? I am glad they aren’t lonely anymore. I am drinking my coffee that I brought back from Costa Rica and managed to slide through customs. It cost me 10 American dollars. Not so different than the price of coffee here. It is a very fine grind. The coffee is perfect and nutty and sweet.

And wrestle God onto the floor.

I must always have this time to prod myself awake. With the sun now coming through two of our three windows, and coffee in hand, he stirs. “The day is here,” I say to him.

He becomes so pleased with Hafiz

And says,

“Our hearts should do this more.”