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amidst swirling wine
and flickers of silver guests quote
Dante, Brecht, Kant and each other.
I wait in the hall after not
powdering my nose, trying to re-
compose that woman who’ll
graciously take her place
at the table and won’t tell her hosts:
I looked into your bedroom
and closets, smelled your
“Obsession” and “Brut,”
sat on your bed, imagined you
in those spotless sheets, looked
long into the sad eyes of your son
staring at your walls from his frame.
I tried to smile at myself
in your mirrors, wondering if you
smile that way too: those resilient
little smiles one smiles
at one’s self before facing the day,
or another long night ahead —
guests coming for dinner.
So I wait in this hall because
there are nights it’s hard
not to blurt out Stop! Stop
your Pulitzer, Wall Street, sex,
Dante, politics, wars, have some Chianti…
let’s stop. Let’s talk. Of our thirsts
and obsessions, our bedrooms
and closets, the brutes in our mirrors,
the eyes of our sons. There is
time yet —let’s talk.
I am starving.
From Small Gods of Grief by Laure-Anne Bosselaar, published by BOA Editions, copyright 2001 Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Reprinted by permission of the author.