Clearly the couple I was watching
Did not demand circumstantial fanfare.
They sat waiting
Like two second class
The waitress took their orders
And left them once again
To a familiar silence.
I tried going back
To my newspaper
But found myself looking above it.
I had seen couples sit quietly before
But never just staring at each other
With expressions of self-deprecation.
It was almost too painful to watch.
Why had they stayed married
I found myself asking.
Two tortured souls jailed
In footsteps together
That long ago had seen
The candle die out.
At some point in life
She had said goodnite Irene
As he was looking for the remote
…and the bloodletting had begun.
They had, it seems,
Run out of things to say to one another
Arguing might have at least
Shown that they still had
Some fight left in them;
I’d imagined that at some point
In their lives the conversation
Went something like this…
“Are you going to talk to me,” she had asked?
“What is there left to say,” he would have said…
Not realizing the wound he’d inflicted
was now lethal.
At that point
The cats nine lives were dead.