Dinner at the Who's Who

amidst swirling wine
And flickers of silver guests quote
Dante, Brecht, Kant and each other.

I wait in the hall after not
Powdering my nose, trying to re-
Compose that woman who’ll

graciously take her place
At the table and won’t tell her hosts:
I looked into your bedroom

and closets, smelled your
“Obsession” and “Brut,” sat
On your bed, imagined you

in those spotless sheets, looked
Long into the sad eyes of your son
Staring at your walls from his frame.

I tried to smile at myself
In your mirrors, wondering if you
Smile that way too: those resilient

little smiles one smiles
At one’s self before facing the day,
Or another long night ahead –

guests coming for dinner.
So I wait in this hall because
There are nights it’s hard

not to blurt out Stop! Stop
Our babble: Pulitzer, Wall Street, sex,
Dante, politics, wars, have some Chianti…

let’s stop and talk. Of our thirsts
And obsessions, our bedrooms
And closets, the brutes in our mirrors,

the eyes of our sons.
There is time yet – let’s talk.
I am starving.

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Dinner at the Who's Who