They sent the coffee beans upon
the ships that held the nutmeg,
cloves and dried peppers,
leaving the Malabar monsoons for
the Atlantic winters.
They stored the red and green
berries in the cedar barrels.
For more than six months, the ships sailed.
When they lifted the lids, the cherries
had become clammy, tossed
in the humidity.
The beans were dark
The coffee held the scent of its travel.
It had been embraced
by the wood, the ocean and spices.
Like the men that rode upon the waves,
the berries released all they held
that made them bitter.
The weight of families, debts and
the land were left behind,
but always carried aboard.
The ocean breezes blew
their stories into the sails.
The sun beat down on their
The lean muscles on their backs,
Coaxing the sweat of their bodies
into the air.
The flavor of the brew was unlike any other.
A full body that swirled with muted notes
A subtle statement, a signature of the cloves
and songs on the ships.