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Coffee House

Pale golden leaves
Fall like scraps of lace.
Thunder booms,
the pungent smell
of rain surprises
our nostrils.
A worn wooden
floor turns from gold
to umber as clouds
disrupt the sun.

A Butoh dancer, body
coated white and mouth
a slash of red arrives.
Black pupils opaque
as river polished stone
grasp us like crampons
to ice.

She glides across
the threshold, swaying
like kelp in seawater,
interrupting conversations,
and dreams.

It begins to rain.

She moves imperceptibly
towards our table. It takes
her all afternoon.

We wait.

There is no message, only
the scent of rain and coffee,
shards of light and shadow,
occasional claps of thunder
and finally, inexplicably,
the smell of blood.

Ellen J. Shabshai Fox, LCSW is a psychotherapist in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A Creativity Detective and Midwife, she assists her clients in birthing and sustaining their innate creative energies. She practices EMDR Therapy and Brainspotting, two therapies that help remove obstacles to full creative expression.

In addition to writing poetry and creative non-fiction Ellen is passionate about improv and dance. Butoh is her favorite dance form. Her Roshi, Joan Sutherland, founder of Cloud Mountain Dharma Works and her fellow “koanistas,” are the guiding forces in her practice of the Zen koan tradition.


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