Scan 4 (1)

by River Mansueti


silverware clinks

and this is the language of our conversation.

you are angrier today,

fork drawing scars across your plate.

i am breathing quietly.


when your voice climbs to a volume

the neighbours can hear,

i blink a little longer each time

until it feels like i am closing my eyes.

i pretend to be three years old again,

too small to wear sadness properly

so it slips off my shoulders and puddles at my ankles.

my mother picks it up and puts it on.


you watch from the table,

a smile threatening your lips.


my eyes open

and you are still screaming

and she is still gone

and i am barely here –

but here enough to feel your fingers

as they grip the steering wheel of my wrists

while you direct traffic towards the kitchen sink,

moving like an ambulance through a crowded street

collecting corpses on your way.


i am a good mortician.

i say i love you too when you say goodnight.


i am an even better liar.