buffet of lies

Table for two but I am seated alone and I take momentary glances

at the unused dinner setting before me — plate, soup spoon, salad fork,

dinner fork, knife, glass, napkin — all obstructed by the vase of fresh cut

flowers and I say to myself, “How pretty.”

 

The waiters here don’t take your orders, it’s a buffet, after all,

and they just take the plate when you’re done and up for seconds;

they don’t even fill your glass with water (you are always thirsty here).

They just stand around and watch, not betraying any semblance of a soul —

not amusement or interest or even disdain — they just stand there,

observing, and hurriedly taking away the plates with the scraps left behind.

 

I always eat here but often enough, I am never satisfied. I keep coming

again and again and the dishes are always different but they never fill me up.

I choose them for different reasons: the way they look, the name cards describing

in intricate detail what each dish is, how they smell, and if I’ve had something

similar before. But at the end of the night, dinner is over, and I am still not satiated.

 

But I always come back here. I dine here but I don’t come for nourishment.

I don’t make reservations, I just come, and there’s always a place for me — a table

for two but I eat alone. I know how to cook but I find myself coming back

to eat alone. Again and again and again.

 

I’m always eating at this buffet of lies.

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