someone gasps behind 
red fingers

                            courtly guests 
hang out the window 
killing time

                           tidals wave 
without a drop of 
rain or wine

                           on a fork 
in her river slide 
a few fish

                           below the 
salt someone’s career 
sounds like glass

                           no time to 
duel with crumbs and 

                            tonight melts 
this room in grief-light 
oh not now

                           in spite of 
tablescape I am 
not my hand

conscience is silent 
as a plate