He Pays the Bill at the Sidewalk Cafe
She watches as he signals to the waiter.
He doesn’t note how silent she is now,
he doesn’t catch her sadness, can’t see how
her eyes go dark and still as standing water.
Behind them in a fluid tangle, strange
ideas swim in black spirals, entwined
like eels. She watches how the subtle wind
tears at her husband’s hat. It isn’t strong
enough to toss it to the sky, but tugs
and grabs and shakes and doesn’t stop. Perhaps
a hurricane is needed. What she hopes:
a bomb will drop, all things will die but bugs,
the continent will slip into the sea,
the planet will implode, and she’ll be free.
He Pays the Bill at the Sidewalk Cafe is from Sad Jazz Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005).