Diversified - Rainbow Colours of Literature Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday]: Bitter Coffee and Grapefruit

poetry friday

Iphigene here.

In 2006, I took a leave from college, got a part time job and wrote a lot of poems. I spent a great time picking words from the dictionary to work into a poem or imagining characters in my head as I wrote poems. I found poetry as my medium to tell stories, different stories about different situations and people. It allowed me to play around and tell truths through my characters. The poem I’m sharing today was written in 2006. It used to be called “What the Drag Queen Left Behind” which has changed and has been renamed into “Bitter Coffee and Grapefruit.”  This was originally posted in the now non-existent poetry site called Sharepoetry.

I didn’t alter it, nor made improvements. Maybe in time when I revisit the character in my mind I will be able to improve on this. At the moment though, I will trust the younger me and the voice she used in this poem. The poem I’m sharing is also in line with our theme these months of July and August.


The appreciation of diversity, I think, goes beyond the laws and legalities. While these are wonderful steps towards acceptance and equality, true appreciation in diversity breaks our long held paradigms and allows us to see each other beyond race, gender, sexual orientation and limitations. In my mind, we only can say that we have attained equality when we only see the human being, not the trappings they come in. This poem, in many ways is angry, but at the same time pleading for that–to see the human, the brother and not anything else. I hope you enjoy this very old original poem. Thanks Katie from The Logonauts for hosting today’s poetry friday. 🙂


10 comments on “[Poetry Friday]: Bitter Coffee and Grapefruit

  1. Iphigene. Yes, this is an angry poem, but it is also heartfelt and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it!


    • Hi Sally,
      I think when I wrote this poem I wanted to understand the grief the narrator was experiencing. I wanted to capture that and how she felt about a society that was fast to offer good words when it didn’t matter anymore. Thank you for taking the time to read it. 🙂


  2. This is a deeply powerful poem. I do think it is such a sad reflection of how differently we can treat people in life and in death. Now is the time to let people know how much they are loved – for everything that they are.


    • Thank you. Kindness, compassion and acceptance aren’t things people need when they are dead, it something we all desire while we are living. 🙂


  3. The feeling you’ve conveyed is so visceral – beautifully done, Iphigene.


  4. That sensory image — bitter coffee and grapefruit– is so strong. It really does capture the bitter anger and wrongness of how people can be treated so wrongly.


    • Ah. I am glad that the coffee and grapefruit worked. When i wrote this I wanted to convey that bitterness clearly and vividly and those two images were what I had. Thanks carol for dropping by and picking up on the feeling of the poem. 🙂


  5. maryleehahn

    Outsiders can’t ever really understand, can they? They can only make assumptions.

    I agree with Carol — I totally picked up on the bitter, acrid, acerbic “flavor” you hinted at with coffee and grapefruit.


    • Yup, definitely Mary Lee. Or I also think when you aren’t invested in another person you wouldn’t really care to understand. Hasty generalizations are easier after all.
      I am glad that the imagery was able to communicate the feeling. Thanks for dropping by.


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