Guest Poet Paula Grenside

To Discharge Pain

Eight o'clock, our restaurant.
I'm early, he, late as usual.
Ruby-velvet seats, same booth,
Bloody Mary shaded by paper umbrella.
I sit, wait, gaze around; eyes stuck
on wall clock's hands that move when I flicker.
Time still, nothing happens.
A glance to the booth on the left.
A blonde leans over a hill of spaghetti,
rolls rebellious worms on the fork.
Her bottom overlaps the chair,
flat folds gnaw choking silk.
Above the separé, bodiless heads float,
Egyptian profiles on oaken edge;
a magpie curl perches on a diamond earring,
tumbling pipe amid teeth and smiles,
stacks of plates, smoke locks linger
sink in gusts of Chanel, burnt oil, camellias' scent.
The blonde on the left wipes a tomato comma
from lips, the fork runs after slippery noodles;
the man in front, an anchovy in gray, sips bourbon,
a barricade of glasses against indifference.
Eight thirty. 
The cell phone rings he won't come.
I order champagne, discharge pain
on his credit card.

March, 2000

Paula Grenside's Questions:

Can the reader visualize the happening that as no sense to  the speaker but for the long waiting?

Which emotions, if any, does the poem evoke?

Is the close to much of a surprise. Does it work? Thank you

The Albany Poetry Workshop