We are starving, started dinner
too late in the evening not
to be cranky. You knock
the olive-oiled pan off
its red-hot burner—I flare
at your clumsy move.

I am secretly relieved
your bare feet weren't burned.
I think to bend down, kiss
your unscalded toes, but don’t.

I set our heavy plates on this
slim table. My heart rate settles.

Candle light handles
your face more gently
than do our dingy
kitchen fluorescents.

Ah, buttressed by fresh
by steamed clams.

Eating together doubles
the pleasure, lets me imagine
the mmm’s you swallow.

Then the white wine I sip
too quickly reminds me
we are changing
clouds. We cannot see
the shape we make
when smooshed together.

In the grace I leave
unsaid, I thank
our God you are
larger than my hunger.


W. Vandoren Wheeler
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