What does hate smell like? What does it sound like?
It smells like a gathering at a restaurant.
We smell the different foods and drinks on the menu—
We hear the sizzles of the food; the ingredients travel to our noses.
We listen to the clacking of the dishes.
We smile at the waitress—the only sincere conversation,
The only honest smiles.
You sit there knowing you should run to the door.
The eyes stare away from the disagreements of the lips—
Quickly, moving from one subject to the next.
Anything to fill in the long silences, and yet silence conquers—
To avoid the greater conflict at hand, a quiet disaster—
Conflict yells loudly in the subconscious—
And it’s conscious through the body language.
Guilty smiles, ignoring the contorted countenances.
The dead eyes sending a clear message of anger.
I try to focus on the guilty smiles here and there.
Waiting for the food to arrive, anxious to have a reason to agree.
Is the food good or bad?
I hope each bite, each sip fills in the gaps of the awful silence.
That silence yells, “This is the end. Don’t you see?”
Your gut instinct warns, “Danger, danger. Stranger Danger.”
And yet the adult mindset enduring it for the sake of saving face—
Or for the false pretense that we are good people.
We sacrifice, we endure, we are patient, we love.
©Ana P. Rose & Anaprose 2017.