From Writing Notebook 2021, published in 2022.


I examine you from across the breakfast table –
you raise the spoon
a band of sunlight falling across your lips
I judge your appearance today as
ghostly, even
a marked decrease in color from yesterday’s

which was a day when
the spoon slopped the milk and cereal
back into the bowl with every bite
Your hands shook so. Today
you require more lipstick
than even yesterday
never mind last week.
What a contrast with the skim milk.

I watch you. I predict for you
a great deal of difficulty
in getting through this breakfast
Much more than any day up to now.

No one speaks until you do:
you screech
your red lips tremble
you fling the ever-faithless spoon
to the carpet
where it lies silent and smirking.
it has outdone itself:
a grim dark stain
wicking down the front of your crimson silk blouse

a deepening spreading red
lying harsh against your heart

The blood leaves your face.
Only your lipstick tells us you still breathe.


2 thoughts on “Overflowed

    • Thank you. Sometimes I think the most ordinary things, like eating breakfast and spilling on your clothes, are so clearly tiny versions of what is really going on on a bigger scale in the world. This is also true for nice things, too, I must say, such as, you find a penny on the sidewalk, it always seems to cheer me up when that happens…

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