I negotiate with my dinner roll,
setting down my butter knife,
I chew with someone else’s mouth.
My hands are shy and busy
weaving a new napkin in my lap.
Romance eats slowly and
never orders from the quagmire
menu – broccoli, onion
and spaghetti. If you are thinking
about later, you remain calm
explaining something I didn’t
hear the beginning of that ends
with a smile, then laughter and
Kahlua. I am hopeful that someday
I can tell you love isn’t dinner out.
It’s the flu and taxes and the fuel
bill during the coldest winter of
our lives. And you don’t walk out
because it’s difficult. You walk out
because it’s Thursday evening
when you set the garbage cans
at the street, and I love you for it.