The Starbucks Card

When she left him it was only a quarter depleted,

one sip of a mocha latte under the moonlight,

one heavy breath from the steamed milk

along her neck, the way he touched her,

how she remembers nearly a year later

as if the smell of a caramel frap were present.


She could never bring herself to use the card again.


The remaining balance was the void in her heart,

decisions she was coerced to make,

manipulated to live caffeine free, though

the memory of his weight on her

still made her heart skip a beat.

The barista scribbles her first name on the side

of a cup, and she adds to this his last name,

because it was right there, in the corner

where he slid a chair next to hers, slid

his hand into hers, tried to express how he felt.


Their tale only partially depleted.


There were so many steaming evening yet

unfulfilled, her face in the cups of his hands,

how safe it made her feel, his hazel eyes, his smile.

Within the balance left on the card

Is a hot mouthful of coffee as she watches him drive,

Or laughing on a couch as he attempts to speak

Her language, a string of vowels undulating on his tongue,

Or her small mouth licking the whipped cream off his lips –

in this small way, their lives would be nearly complete.


He is waiting for her to take the card from her purse,

waiting for her to order a grande…

wishing he could make her realize this,

always and forever a man of his word.

–Dave Imeldi

Dave is a poet living in Queens, NY, writing under a pseudonym, but genuine in every other way. He has published in print and online journals as well as in anthologies.  He is a professor and writer who loves walks in the park under moonlight, Tagalog lullabies, skyscraper romance, and dark humor.

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