Friend Zone

He invited his friend
Out for coffee. Now
He sits across from her.
His porcelain mug slides
In his hands as if gliding
Upon tectonic plates;
The brownish liquid inside
Ripples with seismic energy.
It takes all his concentration
To keep the cup from crashing
Onto the table. He looks down at
His Ethiopian courage as he says,
“I’ve had a crush on you
Since we first met.”

She blinks. Startled. Speechless.
Her pause is too long for
His pleasure. He fears the worst.
Finally, she says, “I never noticed.”

He wonders how that could be.
He sends her a good morning text
Most days; he even adds a
Sideways smiling face at the end.
She loved the bouquet of
Yellow tulips he sent to her job.
In hindsight, he realized he
Should have signed his name
On the card, instead of putting
“From: Your Secret Admirer.”

He sips his coffee to
Drown the wail scaling
His throat with the
Scalding liquid.
His silence speaks volumes.
She tosses back her head
Of frizzy curls, and says,

“You’re a nice guy.
You’re the only black man
Who tells me how beautiful
My natural hair is, or how it
Complements my petite frame.
You’re the only guy who
Notices when my skin
Glistens like polished onyx
After I moisturize with
Shea butter lotion.
Truth is, I thought you
Were only being friendly.
You’ve been a good friend.
You’re sweet, respectful,
And charming; I never
Imagined I was your type.”

Copyright 2012
A. J. Hayes
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