eavesdropping half of a conversation


corcovado, bossa
is too bright & fast
for this coffee line
but the piano joys in slides
& chopped chords
tickling ears
like peacock feathers
i want to shrink away from–
beautiful but annoying
coffee & chocolate beige the air
so i taste mocha already
2 people between me & the barista

the music shifts to so what
a little softer, so i hear the man
in front of me, turned sideways
sigh into the cell phone
no promises
rolling the eye i can see
& shrugging shoulders
under a new sport coat
on a saturday & i wonder

what he’s not promising
someone not here
to see the shrugging & rolling
or the tightness around his lips
important cues
for the other side of conversation
i am keeping time to
instead of that jazz
mixed with steamed milk hiss
& coffee scents


**we are people watching over at Dverse today.

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50 thoughts on “eavesdropping half of a conversation

  1. Rhonda

    I hope TH didn’t see you at the competition. And ’tis true…was there with you. Could hear it, smell it, and feel for the poor schlub in the suit. :)

  2. I can literally SMELL the coffee. This poem is like a snapshot of my life. I always find myself in these situations when in coffee shops. Very warm and atmospheric. I really like it, Suzy Q – I also really enjoyed the style.

  3. ha..i always find those phone calls fascinating when you hear only one person speak and wonder what’s really going on…cool capture of the atmosphere in the coffee shop as well..

  4. There often is that pull, isn’t there, between listening to the conversation and paying attention to the music. I think especially if one is somewhere alone and not talking with anyone it is sometimes very EASY to listen to others! I like the scene you set here. I could picture it

  5. nice…i love the coffee shop…so many interesting people there…i wonder at the guy as well..a phone convo is always intersting when you only hear one side…and unlike them you get to see the emotion behind it as well….cool on the capture of the music of the coffee shop as well….the hiss and the jazz…

  6. I like that thought…you wonder about what promises he is not making to someone. Gosh, doesn’t the smell of coffee drive you nuts when you’re so close but not quite, there!
    Great observations Susan

  7. hypercryptical

    One sided conversations intrigue me too and you’re right about missing cues…

    You took me to the coffee shop – thank you!

    Anna :o]

  8. danadampier

    I think body language during a conversation is very important and it’s definitely something you can’t see over the phone.

    I haven’t been to a coffee shop in a long time!

  9. You captured this moment so well… I can imagine the person on the other side of that conversation having no clue as to what he’s really thinking without the visual cues… this has great images like “coffee & chocolate beige the air /so i taste mocha already.” I also appreciate how you weaved the music throughout, setting the changing moods as well….

  10. The strains of the piano, two people nearby engrossed with their own.Quite peaceful if not for the sudden loud voice.There could have been kids, or boisterous teenagers around. People watching is fun! Nicely Susan!


  11. It would be fun to intercept the call and engage on the other end, playing the role. Mayhem. The notion reminds me of the first 2004 presidential debate, where an incoherent GWB obviously mishandled information coming over a hidden headset, else the information mishandled him.

  12. Proxemics fascinates me and you capture here so well the misinterpretation that can come without important nonverbal cues. I find this is also so true on the internet. Beautifully drawn, a delight of the senses and you put us right there with you.

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