I am going through old brands
one by one until I find that diner counter
white cup with two creams and a dark
green stripe around an ordinary

afternoon. The waitress’s smile is an absent
nod to 1964 and warms up my dubious want
from her nice fresh pot. Chase & Sandborn
today, tomorrow maybe Chock Full o’Nuts

cut with Chicory for the purist palette. Oh,
I’ve tried Hills Brothers hot from the metal
cup we took camping in the Poconos, Sanka
for jitters and Eight O’Clock to study pot shards

all night long. I can almost get there
with Maxwell House, packed in the same can
of clear sky, but inside a forgery flavored hazelnut.
Melitta, Luzianne and Kava (if I’m desperate)

all bring me back to the perfect jolt of Yuban,
a grateful nod to Rooster Brand and Juan Valdez
with those Columbian beans slung on his burro
and his mandate to wake the hell up.

Image credit:Sergei Sviridov

Sara Clancy is a Philadelphia transplant to the Southwest.  Her chapbook Ghost Logic won the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly Editors Choice Award. Among other places, her poems have appeared in Off the Coast, The Linnet's Wings, Crab Creek Review, The Madison Review, Misfit Magazine, Avatar Review and Verse Wisconsin. She lives in the desert with her husband, their dog, two ordinary cats and a psychotic cross-eyed one.