Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Woman Eating Ice-Cream

In a corner of the ice-cream parlor
she sits
in self-conscious consumption
one hand resting
awkward on her thigh

Her mouth opens wider
than strictly necessary
the spoon tethered by her lips
as if performing for an invisible
or being monitored
by the drip police

A guilty pleasure
I wonder
noting a spreading stomach,
or the painful loneliness
of those who swallow enjoyment
like a pill
with no company
to wash it down

She has the look
and Jesus sandals
of Catholic lay clergy
hair tight
in a gray ponytail
dressed in a uniform
of faded blue

There go I
but for my hairdresser
and the slight hope
that keeps me
from double scoop sundaes
and nervous acts
of self love
and self loathing
on an empty afternoon

Copyright © 2006 Louise Godbold

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