Tim Suermondt

THE ONLY COUPLE

 

They look as haggard as the nearly deserted restaurant—

the woman resting her head against her hand,

 

the man talking seemingly in earnest, perhaps unaware

that he’s getting nowhere as far as she’s concerned.

 

Earlier the man might have said “I’m real hungry,

wanna try this place?” and the woman answered “Whatever,”

 

staring at the dim-lit tables, sighing to herself.

They’ll probably stay until the waiter tells them the restaurant

 

will be “closing soon”—a worker in the kitchen already

having plunged the mop in the soap water bucket. “I guess

 

we should be leaving,” the man might say, hoping his display

of nonchalance has made a favorable impression, the woman

 

crossing her legs and pulling some tissues from her purse

and making sure she has her keys, answering “Whatever.”