You tell me you are going marry him.
You knew almost at once he was the one.
Your hands rest on the quilted tablecloth.
"Such clever hands," I used to say.
I gave them names I never spoke aloud.
You tell me how you met and where you'll live.
It's easier to watch your lips than listen.
Your eyes flash in the candlelight like knives.
The waiters drift by with their phantom meals.
Tonight the dead are dining with the dead.
You twist the wineglass slowly in your hand.
And I speak of other things. What matters most
Most often can't be said. Better to trust
The forms that hold our grief. We understand
This last mute touch that lingers for farewell.
Copyright Dana Gioia.
Reprinted with Permission.