avatarEllison On Lemonade


human factors

lost in the shadow of conversation

Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash

somebody takes their coffee with half a cup of cream, and now all the creamers have run out. the cardboard box of coffee sits abandoned, black and going cold.

sitting in a sweet heap of spilled sugar, damp and yellow-brown, a crumpled sticky note tries to sound the alarm, urgent items to be done, forgotten or just neglected in favor of a little human interaction.

there’s a coffee ring on the cold gray desk, and a lipstick smudge on the soggy rim of the cup, purple.

sitting at the bottom of a worn-out Nine West purse, cap loose, label barely visible, (her thumb has swiped over it half a thousand times) a purple lipstick sounds for reapplication, standards neglected, perfection forgotten in the shadow of human conversation.

her lips run away with her thoughts, one half-hour committed to polite chatter spreads out at the same pace as the coffee spill insidiously creeping to the edge of the table, five half hours of caffeine-fueled animation there grows a puddle on the floor.

maybe maintenance will come for it or maybe the cockroaches will bathe in it and tomorrow morning’s calculus classes will be beset by caffeinated insects.

alarms plead for attention promptly silenced then forgotten. conversation sprawls in sugar granules out of impatiently torn paper packets, a simple human factor makes the decision to discard the afternoon, lie on our backs like puddles on the floor and stargaze at the gum on the bottoms of the desks.


No notes. Felt inspired, wrote a poem about sometimes forgetting everything and talking for hours. Submitted it as an assignment for my poetry class and my professor liked it so hopefully y’all will too.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to read more of my poetry, check out my pieces strangulation is embarrassing and A Flash Of October’.

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