Dinner hostess spins spaghetti around the prongs of a fork,
draws long pulls of pasta and Players intermittently.
Later spied at her vintage Antoinette digging
spinach from her teeth with a nicotine-yellowed
long and flaking painted nail, curling
clouds of smoke into the mirror’s judging eye.
Guest etiquette necessitates good conversation, for which
he brings both full-bodied wife and wine.
Her boozy bright-eyed extraversion
excavates him from small-talk’s anxious ditch,
slender wrist refill-dangling, topping her up,
reaching for cigarettes, retreating to flora of wall.
Dead silence – overstepped. Her sick sense of humour,
tongue as sharp as a knife, wine-wielded.
Don’t mind the Mrs, she’s had too much.
He’s laughing, refilling her glass,
the moment for now smoothed over by
smooth wine’s tension soother.
Ashtray sizzling softly there amidst plates of forgotten food,
slid between friends like a rancid puck.
Fire pit shrunk to a cinder bowl later
Found bloodied and broken and spewing its guts,
evening truths smithereening obscenely,
smeared over reddening rug.