Karen Neuberg


I suggest a nice steak, or a nicer rarebit.
In between, we wait days for the order to appear.
I strip the table, twice, then the standing bottle.
The label keeps with gashes revealing amber glass.

We wait. To keep busy, I doodle.
Make sounds with words. Link. Ink. Kaplonk.
Brittle. Diamond. Know process
can be reordered anytime and might proceed

more like diamond, link, ink, brittle, kaplonk.
Wine glass tips spilling red, you guessed it -
my lover dances out of his chair. Red stain
upon his breast. Why is he clutching his heart?

My napkin to the rescue, it's just a spot
below his shoulder. We touch.
I suggest a nice break, still nicer he agrees.
We dawdle above a doodle, adoring who we

were a year ago. I lift a finger to replace
a misplaced look when dinner arrives
all piping and rare. His steak bleeds
into his potatoes. I don't want to go on.

Karen Neuberg's work has been published in literature journals such as Barrow Street, Columbia Poetry Review, Diner, and Phoebe and on-line for Shampoo, The Diagram, Can We Have Our Ball Back, and others. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School in 2000.

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