Mr. Universe


Give me a new beat, I say to the universe,
because I can't follow this one.
But he only glances at me warily like I'm the crazy person
in the coffee shop and puts his headphones over his ears.
A decisive gesture.
There's ink all over my table, not sure where it came from.
I don't have a bottle.
I think my pen is broken.
But people are staring and
the universe turns up his music.
It's rude to play it so loud, I want to say.
I can't hear myself sing.
But I am not singing, I don't think.
Just writing, or I was anyway,
before the ink stained my paper.
The universe might be laughing.
I'm not sure.
If the barista walked by, surely she would hear it.
She'd dance to the laughter, and scold
my mess at her table.
When the next song ends, I'll ask again.
For extra napkins, not for a new tune.
That's no longer an option. He made that quite clear.
I'm no monster. I don't talk to people wearing headphones.
Not even to the universe.

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