That fine line between mayonnaise and death
By Neil McCarthy
Okay, so here we have a café scene, or what
seems to be a café scene, and a guy sitting
to the right of the picture inspecting the veins in his arms
as if watching a line of gun powder
fizzle towards his heart;
that tell-tale wince and rub of the chest
alerting his wife to the signs.
She's looking at him, lipstick smudged on her teeth,
struggling with the unexpected enormity
of a lollo rosso leaf,
seemingly blasé with his theory of how the real divide
in this world exists between those who actually want
the gherkins on their Big Mac
and those who couldn't give a flying fuck.
He mouths her an apology on realizing his
choice of comparisons could have been better.
Nevertheless, was she using her mayonnaise sachet?
No? Could he take it? Great.
She loses her appetite and looks with glazed eyes
across the abyss at someone she is preparing to miss,
should someone else point His finger.
A young couple in the frame beside them
light each other's cigarettes,
order espressos, link fingers, deplore the war to the
sound of cutlery in combat, a milk steamer screaming.
They are heedless of the smell of toast burning.
In this scene there is no commentary, only ash;
a mortar shell blown across the table.