c r o s s
c o n n e c t
t u e s d a y i n c o p l e y s q u a r e
V E N I S E N . B A T T L E
A middle-aged couple sharing
meat-loverís pizza chews and stares
as if Orionís belt dangles
like an earring above the shoulder.
I watch the color of silence
pulp over their table.
Only when the aura of absence
interferes with basil and pork,
does the small-lip man proffer
a mash of words, crumpled like a napkin.
Wife understands; she swats with
her own sedimentary language.
Certainly, they chose each other
I think to myself. But even the
quiet longs for friendship.
The couple gone, silence becomes
somatic: emptiness, arthritic;
loneliness, a phantom ache
itching behind the heart.
© crossconnect, inc 1995-2005
published in association with the
university of pennsylvania's
kelly writers house