I watch the little red-headed Filipina
collect the candles from the café tabletops
and blow them out one by one.
All except mine. Without a glance, she assumes
I need the light.
That’s how you know you’ve become
a regular––when the waitress keeps a flame
burning for you at 9:54pm,
your coffee cold but still as dark,
the sugar packets’ porcelain abodes refilled,
forks and knives wrapped tightly in
tomorrow morning’s napkins.
That’s how you know. When it’s time to go but
no one sends you home.
When they let you blow out your own candle.
Every Monday, GJC will be sharing a poem from John T. Trigonis, a local JC Heights resident, poet, writer, and coffee aficionado, in our Monday Musings.