Missed Cues by Brian Fanelli

She drags her fork across the plate,

pokes at peas until he asks,

What’s wrong now?


He pounds a basketball on blacktop,

curses bricked free throws and missed 3s,

until she stands on the porch, hands on hips and asks,

Coming inside yet?


She cranks the oldies station,

screams along to “A Hard Day’s Night”

after last night’s spat over her in-laws’ visit.

He slouches on the couch, loosens his tie,

drains a beer as she channel surfs,

waiting for a hello or kiss,

more than his half sighs.

They wake up before work, mumble good morning

like two strangers on a subway station,

waiting for the next stop, for the other to exit

so the one who stays has more room.

Image by: Mo Riza