Posted by: facetothewind | December 23, 2003

7 Minutes of Silence

7 Minutes of Silence
Phoenix, Christmas 2003

Across from me they sit in the restaurant in Phoenix.
Beneath the plastic vegetables stuck on blue walls.
Unlit candles on the tables for Christmas.
A couple from the Midwest like cows in a field,
sit chewing their enchiladas
Motion-less heads, save for the jaws
Slowly and steadily cleaning their plates
Her hair is teased up into a frothy orange spire
Like the meringue on a lemon pie
His eyes are deep-set and squinty
Her double chin flaps while she’s chewing

I timed it: 7 minutes of silence between words
“please pass the tor-till-as” she says.
Without a word, he hands them over.
What are they thinking in those moments between words?

When did they lose their wildness, I wonder?
When was the last time he ran his fingers through her hair without her protests?
When was the last time she felt that surrender in her body –
The softness that one gets only from hours of being tossed about in a bed
By a man who has one thing on his mind – possessing every morsel of you?
When was the last time she looked into the mirror and saw that freshly-fucked face?

“Don’t touch the pie grandpa, don’t touch the pie, grandpa.”
Wait ‘til it cools. Then you can have a piece.

They waddle to the late model Buick in the parking lot
She puts bobby pins in her hair before bed
He passes out in the Lazy Boy
Each year they drive from Oklahoma to Arizona
to sit in silence in colorful Mexican restaurants
beneath the plastic vegetables, chasing the sun
and easy parking.

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