Pietà

Rachel Morgan

BPR 44 | 2017

I should be at work, not out,
in the middle of the day,
where I hear one woman ask
the other, What do you think
is the worst thing that could happen
to a person, just after their tender
salads are delivered. Dying,
the other said. They both
took bites, greens sticking out
from forks like matted baby hair.
Really, she replied, because I think
it’s your kids dying. The server
refilled their iced teas. Tables emptied
back to offices. The hypothetical
broke into bits too small to eat,
taken away in empty bowls.
A line of lipstick stained the glass,
stubborn chatter, needing more
and more water to empty
a future we hope never arrives.