she was leaving and got the gumption to see me before she did so we went to dinner she sat, crumpled at the edge of the booth playing with her silverware hands sweating our knees barely touching underneath the table they shook like the day we met they shook like floodgates when the clouds get upset her hair was drawn back into an apology and she didn't answer when the waiter asked for drinks she pans, tilts looking for the restroom but doesn't get up covers her mouth to hide her furled chin i cut her a piece of bread not sparingly i didn't want to ruin the symbolism of cutting a gangrenous thing from ones self she half wept out "tell me a joke" i thought to say "look at us." that's it. that's the joke. the premise & the punch line sharing some silence here in this ominous moment so thick with goodbye you could touch it i said "when they asked what the name was for the wait, i should've said "awkward, party of 2" but that's not the joke "knock knock" she whispered "who's there?" i sat for a moment and said "so we've come full circle.. we're even in the same seats, from all those months ago" her lips quivered and she hid her mouth "i just wanted to hear a joke" she said i came back with *"if i fell for you in a quiet restaurant & no one was around to hear it, does the laughter of children i drempt we'd have make a sound?"