“The big producers use machines to remove coffee bean skins.

“I don’t,” she says.


padlock with nails

Padlock with nails

Then, she deftly nudges a long fingernail under the grayish coating,

Peels it back, and the skin sloughs off.

I watch, and fall under mountain-village love.

“Here, try!” she says.

My fingernail digs in, gets some skin,

Loses contact  – but finally secures it.

The thin wisp curls onto onto a coffee-bean-filled table.

She smiles.

There, you did it!”


I don’t tell her I love her black hair, pointed fingernails, clear voice, endless patience –

All of her –

And then I walk away ….

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, mid-July 2013

Author: Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners – when asked!


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