The work wasn’t easy, more like hard play. She was
a busy barista, true, and all of the manic franticness
of rush times behind the counter were not staged. An art,
it was, for her and her co-workers to serve up all those drinks.

Experts at their craft, they moved with the balletic synchronicity
of actors dancing through choreographed martial arts sequences.
Movements were energetic yet economical, and every shift ended
with a sense of having stepped up another level of expertise.

One day a man came through the line, and when he saw her,
she could see a light in his eyes she’d never seen before.
An hour later he came to in to order again, smiled,
and asked if she was as beautiful on the inside as outside.

In that moment, as never before, the idea she could embody beauty
overwhelmed her because she knew it as a truth he affirmed in her.

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