The coffee drinkers

When the milk was delivered midmorning            languor
cradled in the crook of the household            

On the coal stove blazed by asthmatic breaths
coffee beans splayed open         peaberry plantation 50 – 50        

Pampered in Madras the pattanam girl
was given to coffee drinking        That was why

I was born dark like the beans         fathered by Kuppiah
in the mango grove       Decoction congealed tar on milk      groping

dark hands mottled the fair skin as mid-day coffee drinkers
wove fumes on glass slats

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