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Eating Together

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I know my friend is going,
though she still sits there
across from me in the restaurant,   
and leans over the table to dip
her bread in the oil on my plate; I know   
how thick her hair used to be,   
and what it takes for her to discard
her man’s cap partway through our meal,   
to look straight at the young waiter   
and smile when he asks
how we are liking it. She eats
as though starving—chicken, dolmata,   
the buttery flakes of filo—
and what’s killing her
eats, too. I watch her lift
a glistening black olive and peel   
the meat from the pit, watch
her fine long fingers, and her face,   
puffy from medication. She lowers   
her eyes to the food, pretending
not to know what I know. She’s going.   
And we go on eating.

Kim Addonizio, “Eating Together” from What Is This Thing Called Love. Copyright © 2004 by Kim Addonizio. Reprinted with the permission of W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., www.nortonpoets.com.
Source: What Is This Thing Called Love (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 2004)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

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Eating Together

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