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A poem from 2019
My heel had been bleeding the whole walk over,
crimson pooled in the sole of my shoe.
You said later the sight of it made your stomach turn.
But evidently not enough to stop you
from stealing one of my scallops
with your fork.
I spin my plate towards you and offer another bite.
take as much as you want, I say,
my words barely a breath
from my lips before you
pinch your eyebrows at me and say
my sharing is getting to be a bit too much.
I should really think of myself.
I want to shout back that I do, I have, I am
thinking of myself right now.
Sitting in this restaurant with you
and sharing these scallops,
sharing this table,
sharing the bill--
That is me thinking of myself.
The most selfish thing I can do
is share my time with you,
I find myself delusionally thinking.
Still, I sit silently,
filled with an unease
I cannot name,
on the scallops
I was already too full to eat.
All the while,
Two subway stops away,
there is another girl laying in your bed.
Me unaware of her,
her unaware of me,
You, painfully aware of us both.
Months later, I will wonder
Was this a warning?
Your sheepish way
of telling me that you are not
someone to be trusted?
There is the dead eye
of the Branzino on your plate,
untouched by my fork.
Black and glassy, smooth and lightless,
a button sewn to charred flesh.
Seeing all that is unsaid.
I stare at it
and it stares back.
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