Censured at Seattle’s Best
by Ellaraine Lockie

A book bumps my
Swiss chocolate bar off the tiny table
to the freshly wiped wooden floor
Where the carefully rationed quota
of daily decadence
winks cocoa bean brown eyes
in clandestine persuasion

I’d pick it up
and plop it in my mouth
The life expectancy of most germs
being less than sixty seconds
If it weren’t for the three-year old boy
watching like a dog-in-waiting
to see what my next move might be

Role model mindful
And with maybe meagerly concern
for castigation from customers
old enough to consume coffee
I proceed with the picking up part
and place the chocolate by my thesaurus

The implied trip
to the trash can in the corner
is obscured behind a need to write longer
than a three-year old’s attention span
and a clientele’s turnover
When I can carefreely complete
my consummation of the culinary act

SOURCE: First published in The Centrifugal Eye and later in Coffee House Confessions (Silver Birch Press, 2013).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Every morning I write in a coffee shop while sipping espresso and consuming an ounce or two of dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa. There is a ritual to this that I highly recommend: after each sip of coffee, place a tiny bit of chocolate on your tongue and let it melt. Never chew. This allows the 600-plus flavor components of chocolate to penetrate your taste buds like a fine wine does. The process can take fifteen minutes, and when you’re finished, you’ll feel like you had a most sumptuous and satisfying dessert . . . and also like you’d never really tasted chocolate before. Try it! P. S. And I almost never eat it off the floor.


Ellaraine Lockie
is a widely published and awarded author of poetry, nonfiction books and essays. Her eleventh chapbook, Where the Meadowlark Sings, won the 2014 Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She is currently judging the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contests for Winning Writers.