Hold the fork just so.
Do not like the prongs scrape against the white
porcelain slathered with the red sauce
that gives you heartburn,
but is his Mama’s recipe.
Do not breathe too heavily.
Don’t make eye contact.
That tension’s back in the air.
Feels hard to breathe it in, like
it fights with lungs for every sliver
of oxygen they manage to steal.
Don’t swallow loudly.
Even though the pasta
sludge in your throat.
Something happened at work
on the way home from work
or in checkout line for tonight’s paper bag filled nightmare.
The 5 Ws are only important
to people afforded the luxury to ask questions.
Keep your face smooth.
If you think quietly,
you could manage to disappear.
Fade into the wallpaper like
the antique roses on grandmama’s walls.
Just yesterday he had given you a rose.
Maybe that was last week.
Chipped counter holds the
their beauty leached from them.
Don’t ask questions.
This is response to the poetry prompt for The Reverie Journal this week and Poets on the Page. I thought of cycles and immediately thought of the cycle of abuse. This is the moment before the abuse starts. After the honeymoon period when things have settled and gone back to stasis.
Is there a cycle in life that makes your fingers itch to write? It doesn’t have to be a heavy topic, of course. That’s all up to you.