Judith Borenin

Dinner Party

Set before me is a meal of ice
and dust–odorless but filling.

It leaves a little iron trace–a
rancid aftertaste of rust–yet

it seems to be enough. I won’t
complain. Some things take a

little time to get used to–like
that smudge just out of reach

which wears a certain face on
an otherwise spotless window

pane polished to a useless shriek
by restless hands. Or a cupboard

door’s dry creak which suddenly
turns to speech in a language I

can completely understand. Or
floorboards that groan in a glacial

room where urned ashes walk
with weighted steps of bone.

Beneath the icy gaze of lidded
blinds shadows flicker like wind

blown candle flames that climb
the ivory-spackled walls and slip

into their seats and then recline
around the table. Familiar friends

we smile–take small comfort for
a while as we nod companionably

and slowly turn into stone.

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Judith Borenin has published poems in The Raven Chronicles:Last Call, The Floating Bridge Press Review IV, Synchronized Chaos, The POETiCA Review, and Ethel Zines 3 & 4. Her chapbook, The Evidence & The Evermore, was published in July of 2019 by Sarah Ethel Lefsyk. She is also a faithful participant in open mic readings once a month in Port Townsend, Washington.

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