Tip of the Quill: A Journal
30|09:11 Coffee to the People

COFFEE TO THE PEOPLE, reads the big green letters
Mounted to the beige backdrop above the storefront door,
Its logo a fist gripping a steaming cup,
A caffeinated, subjugated form of rebellion,
And I suppose it’s a coincidence that they’re Starbucks colors,
That these Haight-Ashbury baristas were here before the Seattle invasion,
I suppose that they’d be furious to read these lines,
But walking in, it’s not that different,
The menu is hand-drawn, the wi-fi is available,
Kids are reading Voltaire and writing poetry on computers,
Unobjectionable music is playing over tinny hidden speakers.
I wonder if they’d give me coffee for free,
If I asked for it, if I pled my case,
If I explained my hardship and my right to caffeine,
As a citizen of our shared country, coffee to the people,
A Columbian mother’s milk to nourish one and all,
I’d point to the neon sign in the window,
I’d shout the joint’s own name back to the tattooed kid behind the counter,
I’d start a rally. I’d instigate a revolt.
Pitchforks and tampers and latte spoons at dawn!
We’ll march up and down the street,
We’ll recruit the stoner wannabes hitting up the tourists for change,
Promise them twenty bucks and some Doritos in exchange for their support,
We’ll rise up and overthrow those who oppress us!
Those who stand between us and our cappucinos!
Coffee to the people, Goddamn it, coffee to the people!
Give us your cold, your sleepy-eyed masses,
Stand aside and let us at those Illy machines,
I pull these shots to be self-evident,
That all mochas are created equal,
That we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of jitteriness,
Coffee to the overworked underdrugged and just trying to get by people!

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