One Night at Dinner – by JOANNE SPENCER

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One Night at Dinner


Every single word felt like spit. Slick with deceit which held shape but zero merit.

People, my people, cling to her stories as if she were sister to the messiah. To me, her

words are no different than the heave that arrives when a sour stomach can hold no

more bile.


Just look at her, sitting there. Her back stretched taught, pressing against the brown

leather booth, boasting. Disgust falls from collagen lips as her pock marked chin pushes

forward, confessing of dalliances with him while her husband, my brother,

sleeps beneath fresh soil.


I resist the urge to escape, flee from the blather. Her animated expression as she speaks

causes my stomach to roll, yet my friends lean in, living vicariously through her saliva.

The why has me on the verge of utter frustration and the scene threatens to strangle my



Abruptly I pause and inhale.


Inventory of myself has me reaching across the table for the bottle of Cabernet. I

sloppily pour reality into an empty glass. Will revealing the why make my annoyance



The waiter approaches. With care, he sets a steaming bowl of pasta down in front of me.

A skewed understanding of her begins to unravel my thoughts and I am suddenly struck

with clarity. He is free and her shapeless spit is not worth my mind’s exercise.


“Can you please pass the salt?”


picture for sick lit

Joanne Spencer, who once had her life saved by a naked man, has had work published in Fresh! Magazine, Woman’s World  and will soon have a poem published in Mother’s Always Write. She is a published author of one novel, The Letter Keeper, and is currently working as a contributing journalist for her local publication, The Creekline,  as well as writing reviews for The Review Review. She resides in Northwest Florida where she pretends to cook, clean and do laundry all while secretly writing on a notepad she keeps in her back pocket or her bra, depending on her outfit that day.




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