Lauren Shapiro

The Conversation

There is always a woman eating a sandwich.
Today she is large as everything
that wasn't said. It is ham and cheese.
Who cares. You're watching me, she seems
to say. Being alone is unlike a chess move.
It is unlike hanging out at the bowling alley
with Dale Hickey. A hundred stuffed animals
the size of a fist and I can't make the claw catch.
Turkey, says Dale Hickey. The lights
are making turkey shapes all over
the place.Turkey. I heard you.
The woman has finished eating her sandwich
and is on to another one. Now she is tiny
as a shrimp. She is eating the smallest
egg salad sandwich in the world. I think,
Maybe I will speak to her. But she does it first.
I've wanted to talk to you for ages, she says,
but instead I keep eating all these sandwiches.
I know, I say. And I keep going to the bowling alley
with Dale Hickey. It's been hell.