Connect. Take the cup & place the label, look at the order & look at the guy, not in a rush. Easy.

Pump. Six times with your palm, Vanilla. It makes your hand sticky. He lingers.

Buildup. Purple wrapper, a milky stream. He asks a question. “could I drink my coffee here?” Press
half & shots twice, “we have tables.”
“no right here, I just want to make you feel uncomfortable,” & the girl, his companion,
with an eye roll, “just ignore him.”

Froth. Pull the frother, come up & down foaming, he says it here. “Take your top off.” He lols. She
rolls her eyes. The foam
rises & squirts a bit on your apron.

Top off. Pour the milk & pour the shots. What? Drizzle the caramel & keep looking down.
Thoughtless speech? Give him the benefit

of the doubt. Ignore.

Cap. Cover the mess & move on. Don’t make eye contact. Hand it off.


Sophia Tarin is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Adelphi University whose current work explores the conditions of nature, human interaction, and the breaking down of everyday objects. She is an unpublished writer of poetry, short fiction, and essays. A Long Island native, she currently works as a library clerk at the New York Public Library.

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