Food Court

Image credit: Artyom Malyukov/

This gaudy catacomb
swarming with couples in love –
my table for one.
the empty chair screams absence
proclaims the day you left me
far behind.

Too risky the return
insufficient dividends
to warrant
the investment of your heart.

you chose another course
paid your coin
where you thought
to spend it best.

What next?
the heart excises
every trace
for your happiness;

and in my shadowhood
I haunt the vague underworld
that is your past.

But I will forget I loved you once.
My heart will set aside
the memory of your face
the recall of happiness
the tune your very presence
called my life to sing.

The ache
your loss instilled in me
will fade with time’s passage
become a mere murmur
below the threshold of my heart’s

Time will go on.
Beyond the chasm of the
you-shaped hole
the no-longer here reality
that is my truth
there lurks the hope of hope –

‘til then this Styrofoam food
this bland, washed-out substitute
for nourishment –
this will be my heart’s diet
surrounded by the remnants
of our long-concluded feast.

© Copyright Brendan E Byrne 2023. All rights reserved.