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The Banquet

Her thigh-bones broken under the weight of ninety years,
suspicious and greedy, my mother-in-law watched us closely,
and that coward of a father-in-law, chronically obese,
held his tongue in ten languages. My son, with a dark,
cold hole in his head, sat stuffing himself with food,
his face in front of the television.
My brother was gorging himself to death, swelling visibly
and uttering obscenities at the white table-cloths.
My parents, withered and dumb from years of mutual hatred,
wore on their faces a look of terminal loneliness.
This was a moral banquet, disgusting, fantastical.
Having salvaged our friendship from the wreck,
you smiled as you gazed at me,
but so many years of monsters have been relentless.

 

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