Lights on eyes widen
brain contracts the check
is torn into pieces the numbers
run out of room on the sheet
of what she was saying
about high school and what
they should talk about
so she would feel a little bit
more confident in her reasons
her justifications for
why she doesn't belong
what they end up talking about
anyway
without her
on ahead they skip
skip over the part where she
they come back 
and make a meal of her
spitting up the bones of her expressions
drying out in the back

"So you're going to play the geometry teacher now?"
"Geometry teacher? What does my saying my ex-husband never took me seriously have to do with my playing a geometry teacher?"


"So you're going to play the master chef now?"
"Master chef? What does my describing how my boss twisted the letter opener after he inserted it into my stomach have to do with my playing a master chef?"

"So you're going to play the gastroenterologist now?"
"Gastroenterologist? What does my mentioning how he was all the time behind my never being able to escape that hellhole have to do with my playing a gastroenterologist?"

"So you're going to play the foodborne parasite now?"
"You're saying that because I forgot about the salad for a couple of weeks? Months?"
"I was referring to what you do to every relationship you've ever been in."
"Foodborne parasite? You're saying that because of all the greasy fast food I never finish or you're saying that because of the sound?"
"The sound?"
"The sound I make?"
"When you do what?"
"When I'm being a parasite?"
"Oh, I thought you meant the other thing."


- Max Stoltenberg