• Xanadu Literary Magazine

Mark Theodore Meneses

Coffee Breath

They stand on the porch, hand in hand. Their warm breaths loom around them, wrpping their shared space in a cozy blanket. The vibrant yellow and orange leaves dance to the brisk fall breeze. They exchange small, delicate kisses and tight embraces. He holds her body close but not close enough.

This is not a fairytale ending. This is not a happily ever after. She turns away, releasing herself from his grip. His breath reeks of coffee, and she feels the empty cavity within her chest consume her. She can faintly taste the bitter mocha from his lips. She begins to walk, unable to glance back at the distraught, puffy-eyed young man. The rotten leaves crunch beneath her torn shoes. With every step she feels him further into her arms, receding deep within himself, as he has done countless times before. He crumbles to her touch.

Only this time, she does not hold on.

From the Perspective of a Dog

Where is that damn human?

He leaves for 7 hours straight and he forgot to leave food and water again


This human always comes through the door looking as if

A truck has hit him on the way here

Like always, he ignores me

His beaten body falls into the depths of his springy bed


I make my business; his business

It’s alright though; he’s used to picking up crap anyways

He’s experienced at cleaning the mess all around him

I guess that’s what he wants to do when he grows up

He picks up his leash and attaches it around his arm

He then connects the other side to my neck

It’s time to walk the human

I’ve learned that it’s good to walk the human daily

That’s when he empties the crap out of his head

You can see the troubles flowing right out of him

Sometimes he’s useful too

He prevents me from going into the light that the movies always talks about

It’s like

We depend on each other for survival

We get home and I’m thirsty for water

Drinking from that bowl

Quenches my thirst

But the sweetest water comes from his eyes

When my tongue touches his face

See, this boy likes staring into space

He thinks that by looking at a dark, cold, empty place

Things will magically get better

I sit on his lap and force him to pet me

I remind him of my warmth and my company

He smiles

But now he sits down and stares at a book

Yet this time it’s different,

He stares at that book as if his future depended on it

As if it foretells his future

It seems like that will solve his problem

Our days together are numbered,

Apparently he’s going to something called college

But like always

I will be here

Waiting for him to come home.

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