by Abner Dormiendo

I would take anything else over this silence
Brooding between our bowls of soup — yes,
Even the eavesdropped noise: the old man says
He knows where to get cheap beer. The lad
From across the table mentions some girl
Named Cassandra, who has been ignoring him
Since — then he fades as clattering spoons
Become conversation starters. Is the food
Delicious? In response you shove a mouthful
And almost as if I understood what you mean,
I went back to finishing my meal. Did you hear
The waiter talking about how Eduardo died
Last night when Jose Fernando shot him
In the chest, while Maria Leonora watches —
Who? I didn’t understand. Can you repeat
What you said? You sipped the cold water.
Have you watched any movies lately? Silence
Means no. Me neither. I’m sorry for being
So nosy and talkative and being insensitive, and
I should shut up now. I’m sorry. Let’s just eat.