Poetry Monday: When You’re Broke Downtown Still Feels Like the Place to Be

On the weekends
The best place to be
Is a coffee shop
Across the street
From a bar or club
In the heart of downtown
In whatever city

Sipping the coffee
While people watching – 
Those kids who think
Alcohol makes them cool
Those kids who think
Drunken idiots
Are their friends

All these kids do
Is work and party
How do they have
So much money – 
I could barely afford
This cup of coffee
But the night doesn’t end
With me crying

They’ll learn the hard way
When they stop drinking
Their so-called friends will leave
Maybe then they’ll do something
That benefits society
Or adds to our culture
Maybe then they’ll join me
For a cup of coffee

From the poetry collection Cats, Coffee, Catharsis.

Coffee and Contemplation: National Black Business Month

August is National Black Business Month. The purpose is to support and encourage African American-owned businesses in your community. There are many businesses in Tucson owned by people of color, but I want to focus on two of my favorites. The first is Café Desta. A small café that has served Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine since 2010. They are located South of downtown on Stone Avenue. I have always enjoyed the flavors and aromas of coffee beans from Ethiopia and Café Desta serves Ethiopian coffee along with many delicious dishes. They are accepting orders for Take-Out and Delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The next business is The Downtown Clifton. It opened last year in 2019 with an additional 22 rooms and The Red Light Lounge. The hotel was first built in 1948 and was purchased by the current owners in 2014 and they began restoring the property. Also located a couple blocks North of Café Desta on Stone Avenue, you can enjoy a nice stay in downtown Tucson and partake in some delicious cuisine and coffee. I only care if you try the coffee. If you’re visiting Tucson, these are two great places to check out. 

If you live in Tucson and you haven’t visited these places, what are you doing with your life? You don’t have to stay in hotel, but you can enjoy the food and spirits in The Red Light Lounge. Now go support people of color in your community.

Poetry Monday: Downtown Bus Station

At nine p.m.
The worst of the worst
Hover on benches
Or lean on columns – 
They’re not here
To catch a ride
I get a drink
From a vending machine
I wait for the bus
That will take me home – 
Wannabe thugs
Homeless vagrants
My anxiety levels rise
My pupils widen
My face feels cold
I don’t know when
I started tapping my heel
Why does this guy
Walk behind me – 
Security walks by
Tells a guy smoking a cigarette
To move to the smoking area
The guy keeps smoking
But watches the security guard
Like he wants to fight
He passes the smoke to
Another guy and walks off – 
The bus comes
I board quickly
From the moving bus
I see the guy talking
To a young woman
His friend talks to
Another woman
I don’t like it
But I don’t stop the bus
I hope those women
Get home safe

From the poetry collection Cats, Coffee, Catharsis.