Dinner Party with Your Ex-Lover

Rebecca Alifimoff

I’m throwing a party for forgiveness,
Look, here are the plastic cups, the twinkle lights,
the cheap boxed wine.
A party as if to say: We regret the error.
We being, of course, how people hide
from the solitary of I. Here I am
with my fancy cheeses and cardboard party hats.
Come inside, this time I will accept love
like it is a carefully wrapped present.
This time I say thank you
and learn to smile. We can sit on the floor
and eat finger foods: spanakopita and wrapped figs,
we can dance the cha cha slide
in my living room and I’ll suck the pain out of your neck
like venom from a snake bite.
Listen, it is always one small death or another,
not explanation but fact. On Easter, we went to mass
and at brunch I ate the eggs in purgatory. Not really
another revelatory detail. Listen, in a couple hours
my whole fridge will be lousy with leftover apologies,
so if you’d like the last of my coconut ice cream,
                                                              have at it.

Rebecca Alifimoff was raised in the Midwest but currently lives in New England. Her poetry has appeared in [PANK], Souvenir Lit, Magma Poetry, and others.

© Variant Literature Inc 2021