Charles Wax

The Chemistry of Solitude

Miriam curled up
at the far end of
Meng’s Restaurant
in Coney Island
a young girl who took pills
now gradually her body bent more
and more until her head
rested on the Formica table.
Many times
I had seen her
like that for hours
every so often raising
her head
looking around
if she saw someone she knew
she’d struggle to rise
and if she couldn’t
she’d whisper,
“Got stuff? ”
Nothing else.
One time
when Miriam slumped
on a table
her mother walked in
ordered Wonton soup
then gone
no love left
I said to myself
my words were false.

Submitted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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