July 9th, 2013
BLUE PLATE SPECIAL
Pork chops, potatoes, beans, gravy, and grief,
seasoned to taste and shared by the dead girl’s
father and boyfriend, the table talk sparse,
the dead girl not much mentioned, especially
the dead part, or how she dumped the boyfriend
a week before she died. The boyfriend drank beer,
the father, iced tea. The boyfriend had plans,
the father did not. The brother came late
and skipped dinner (not hungry, he said),
went upstairs and cried (they seemed not to hear).
Then he came back and cleaned up his plate.
Then they all had coffee, ice cream, and pie.
Then they looked through a box of old photos
and then said goodbye, over and over again.
—from Rattle #38, Winter 2012