Brought Out

I stand at the table;
cell phone in hand,
boots ready on my feet.
They forgot they invited me
so I eat quickly.
My eyes pass over one face
and another.
They don't know that my cell phone
will never vibrate.

"I spent the afternoon bringing order
to the chaos of my tool shed,"
one man is saying.
To him, order is a virtue.
But does he not see that when the locusts swarm, when darkness reigns,
when blood fills the bathtub,
it is not
order that is brought out,
but a small blind child
searching for a hand to hold.

A pillar of smoke billows
from the stovetop.
Confusion enters
to the shouts of "fire"
and I am gone before
the waters of peace slosh back into the warm house.

The road takes me through
the stretch of countryside
that the locals call "the desert."
Here are no street lights. No farms.
Just me and the rain,
with a thin pane of glass between us.
I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket
but I am concentrating on driving.

When I get back to the neon lights
of civilization. I pull over
and flip open the cell.
"One new message"
A moment later the voice of my hostess
enters the car.
It is calm and quiet against the backdrop of the storm.
"Hi Andrew. I had hoped you would stay for dessert.
It's never too late to come back."

The End

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