Coffee

Which was no doubt a pretend satisfaction, since it derived from something artificial. Karl Ove Knausgaard

Cold metal feels wet to the skin, eyes closed.
For a long time, they thought the stars
were holes drilled in a dome. Things are not
as they seem, they repeat to themselves. Things
are not as they seem. They mumble the words
as they pay for their coffees with counterfeits,
pour almond milk in to mask the taste, sit
in front of a landscape painted a thousand miles away,
look out the window at invasive plants
in the rain —- where are we? they ask themselves.
The answer is here — the table is solid
under their elbows. They lift the cup
to their lips, it’s still warm. It tastes good, like
the forest floor, like dappled sunlight. Forget
about plantations, this is the good shit, they think,
shade-grown, shade-harvested. These beans never saw
the sun until now, sitting liquefied in a paper cup
milled from a tree in a forest somewhere farther away,
or maybe in America even, who knows? They’re not
sure. How can we be sure of anything, they mutter
to themselves, putting the coffee cup back down
on the table, rubbing their lips. Things
are not as they seem. How do they even seem?