Andrea Baker
At the Seaport Restaurant

The birds kept twitching. All the snarling birds, snarling at the table. Say you are adorable just as you are; say I love to see you sitting below the ugly green umbrella. The texture of the plastic table was the texture of wood grain and it had a hole in the middle. Who ever was an empty one was sitting at the table. You were saying love love love.

Your hair was tight and curly black as always. It was looking like tight and early bird feathers curling in on themselves. It was looking like a whole set of unborns. Their hands inside their mouths. Them licking each one of their fingers.

The dinner came. It was linguini al fredo. It had a parsley garnish. The waiter was wishing me a happy birthday. None of these were the reason I couldn’t stop laughing.

There was a long piece of cellophane tied to a parking lot sign. I couldn’t believe the color. It was something that light itself had done. Illuminated crystal green, the inside of a saint left beside chicken bones and a broken toaster.

I wanted to hold you and hold you but the birds were all eating and crying at the table. The people had attached themselves to the sky. They had bird beaks but they also had hands at the tips of their feathers. That was both the birds and the bodies. Your face looked laced with tendons and puttered almost. I was deeply hurt; I said of course. The waiter came. You put your face in your hands. It looked half eaten.

I ate very little below the ugly green umbrella. I put the sparkling glass of water down on the table. More water, please waiter.