is the plate
cold and hard with porcelain and pork fat coloured sauce
we haven’t eaten meat here since the news of what they call ‘cruelty’
Dad misses pork belly but he’ll have to deal with it.
All that there is left of dinner, too, is the smell in the walls
like the walls of a nightclub with sweat
only here the music is quieter, and not written or edited but
sizzling, fizzing bicarbonate bubbles of a dishwasher tab, and the left overs mishapen and piled in the saucepan we call
the compost bin.
It’s a lost consonant, unnessential
in the grand scheme of things -
nlk a vwl n mny wys.
Also, salt and pepepr in the grooves of the table from when I had my earlier birthdays are still grit locked into the grain of wood and dust. All that there is left of dinner is the way a tongue reaches out for food like a question to be answered
and then gives up or gets it and relaxes.
To be at the table after dinner is like being in bed after waking up.
The bread spread
bed spread is crumpling and creasing with the weight of a sleep filled body.
The table full of salt.
The plates empty but not quite.
It’s a white room- filled with sound and all the other best bits of a dinner that go untasted,
or just wasted.
The sound is unassuming. It can sometimes be all that there is left of dinner, but today, not quite. Instead, it’s that sense of someone maybe undoing their trousers if the company is right. It’s overpeppering pasta. It’s the warp and weft of spaghetti. It’s the process of going from disgustingly, beautifully empty
to not so much.