He stood complacently, not responsible for
he shrugged and gave a quick nod to the farmer at whose hand a tomato was nurtured into full redness
he stood surveying the abundance of choice with a boredom not fitting its opulence
he had eaten one too many carrot sticks and bedded down his lettuce as a frivolous notation about his access to the harvest
he had meant to care but found he couldn’t
he had meant to share but found it too bothersome
he yawned in the face of greens and reds and oranges and yellows and the endless need to wash and wash and wash and chop and cut
and the glass bottles of extra virgin olive oil and jugs of red balsamic vinegar and
he remembered the towering woman
who swept her pasta up in one fell swoop—
how it had fit perfectly in the Styrofoam container
how he had started to say Styrofoam is so bad for the earth but she had turned and left and it enraged him how anyone would walk out on him when he had so much to say and had demanded her to listen
he imagined the cherry tomatoes as her earrings and woven, braided strands of spaghetti as her necklace and then it revolted him because all he wanted
was a glass of brandy and his cigar and a tower of a woman to meet his every need
and the waitress had spit at him when he didn’t tip her and he wondered why they all persecuted him and
he sat on his tile floor and
cherry tomatoes rolled about his kitchen floor and
made him laugh.
She was tall and solidly built.
Her calves were hefty, sturdy foundations and she swayed, unconscious of her movement
a distant humming setting her on her way delicately
back and forth silently.
A tower of a woman stands at the door;
the chill from the fridge plastering her face ghostly as if the cold had pressed her flesh into ice—
a face gone white and numb.
Now she sees the piles of Styrofoam containers of the food she could not stomach
with the company she sought to escape.
Give me a doggy bag and let me run far from him she wanted to say
But only pointed to her plate of sad spaghetti and crusted bread and flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano with which she toyed, one swipe of the fork and
when the waitress saw her she threw the contents in a Styrofoam bin sullenly
and he watched, about to speak, and she fled before he could
and silencing thus, she vomited all food and thoughts and words in the comfort of her home and stacked another container on the tower of her containers and she was a tall and hefty woman who could,
heave all the cartons to the wind and with it,
the likes of all those who sat across from her, fork in hand.
Instead she piled one on one on one the white Styrofoam tower
sturdy like her own, good, once hungry body and she says
Enough and shoves the last container that
falls spewing fine threads of spaghetti, chirping meatballs crying for help racing across the tile floor—
and the one below it, white Styrofoam square, stodgy falls too
And another and another
the containers spewing rice and broccoli and carrots and roast lamb with rosemary and yellow yams still in their tight jackets and wings that will never take flight laden as they are in barbeque sauce and baby leaves of spinach set flight away from cherry tomatoes and all the words of all the men who tried to tame her with affection
And leering glances
And cauldrons of words chased down with brandy.
She swayed on her long legs
Then Topple! she shouted
Then Fall! she sang and kicked a meatball into the corner
Then Gather the food as if in a harvest! she pleaded and
looking at the wasted food on the black and white tile floor
sat on the floor
collapsed onto the floor
and cried and when she thought
of all their words over dozen of dinners,
jumped to her feet
and laughed and laughed.