The Banquet

she knows what it means
to drag a body up
from the ground, from nothing
taking sharp steps on the way
care, love, giving, all knives beneath
calloused feet and dirt-brown footprints

the black crepe is hung up in the corner
out of the way of smiling life
but always in the corner of your eye
she has waited, frozen and unsure
she has torn lovers apart
in her despair, and mourned

she has made a feast of loneliness
so none will go hungry
there is always another to your right
and another to your left
no matter the laughter in the conversation,
we all know what we’re drinking

salt and copper and spoiled milk
sitting in our mouths
we look straight ahead
stumbling forward, and she will catch us
as we fall and she will free us
from the dirt and she will embrace us
as we are burnt and we will go on walking

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