Damnable Cannibal

Utensils, just so.
fold the napkins
decant the wine
lay the toast
crumble the sugar cubes
that’s the water glass
sterling silver knives.

Aerate the stemware
polish furiously
the butter pat
gleams in the candlelight
ceramics, not plastic
please seat yourself
ice and champagne.

Smile and steam
the platter arrives
salt and oil
the meat is resting
cloves and thyme
would you like red or white?
toss a salad.

Scream, Grace
the head of the table
chiming glass
shiny serrated knife
carving fork
yes, medium rare
thin strips on her plate.

A hiccup in silence
shred a dinner roll
curiously red
he prefers the white
have a bite
his lips stain the rims of the glass
she swallows.

Happy Anniversary
she tries to smile back
shaking fingers
pain and numb
a sip of water
missed you too
may I carve you another slice?

Nauseous and faint
she chews delicately
napkin folded neatly
sweaty forehead
mismatched earrings
his savage smile
bloody ring.

The fading blue and purple bruise
matched his tie
it’s perfect
but today can be a good day
another bite
couples compromise
plastic laughter.

Made it myself
a new recipe
how’s the temperature dear?
best meat in town
the heart beats loudly
carve off another strip
the muscle stutters.

the chandelier winks
lay down the fork
empty chest cavity
he can’t help but grin
her tears
blood taints the white wine glass.

Yet another slice
her heart labors now
another strip of flesh
he wets his lips
it’s almost gone
want the last slice?
the fork jabs the meat.

Lovingly fed
they consumed
the final pieces
of her heart
tenderized flesh
the heartbeat finally fades
he licked his fingers.

Clear the feast
she collapses
white wine splashes the floor
blood pools
we can get that stain out
hiccup and choke
she didn’t need it anyway.

He poured her a glass
this time of red
the taste of copper
with plum highlights
she couldn’t drink fast enough
no more pain.

You missed some
he smiles again
the tablecloth will never be the same
flickering candles
I don’t have a heart, Charlie (she gasps)
I know, Grace
you didn’t need it anyway…

The cleaned dishes sparkled
cloying bouquets reek
mourners in the plot
walk through the valley
cloudy sky
black satin gowns
wet dank soil.

For your loss
attendees trickle away like sand
he stands alone now
leaning over the pine box
carves another strip
the hole bleeds in the dull light
bye-bye Grace.

He always liked her heart the best.