When I ask: how’s your day going?
you falter, bewildered by this hollow inquiry.
The indignity to disrupt the customer-client
simplicity: a cup of coffee, black.
$1.65 your total, your change. Thanks.
Have a nice day.
Your fingers fumble the bills, your eyes dart
not meeting my gaze, expecting
the automated good, just fine, not so bad.
An easy end to an empty conversation.
Instead your remixed response
with its melodic honesty and harmonic irony
sullies our sheen of superficiality:   
It could be better
but I’m still breathing
in oxygen
out carbon dioxide.
I’m still alive.
Rendered helpless, I rest my elbows on the counter, synthetic stone
two feet across which no words could communicate
the solitary experience of a single day. 

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