Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Table for Three, by Ava Yap

Both of you are seated when I enter the room
To the smell of dried roses and smoky perfume
The candlelight flicker sways the dimly lit hall
Making tables for two dance in a masquerade ball
I pull up a seat, the floor groans with despair
I sit down to stilted talk and stiff wooden chairs
Your spine pulled taut like a tamed violin string
Your voice resonates in a shrill, high-pitched din
His body slouched over and his expression grave
His limp hand musters a small, perfunctory wave
I ventured a smile, a strange act of care
You laugh nervously, very aware
That he stays quiet, and so you stare
Hard between “Red Velvet Cake” and “Candied Pear”
At this point dessert is a distant affair
Butter knives dangling, words hang in the air
Sometimes I wish for your eyes to stop darting
To and fro like a frantic animal, panicking
So frightened of peering into the depths of his eyes
Afraid of what would happen if you loosen your strings
And be the bold, buoyant Belle I knew as a friend
Leap out of the wood, and the sticks, and the stares
Make the Hail Mary pass and laugh at the mess
So that I don’t have to be here
So that I could just disappear
But instead here we are; him, you, and me
On Valentine’s Day with a table for three

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