Basil leaves spoon along the tablecloth, wriggling to curl into each other.
They tickle their veins against one another and whisper words into the restaurant
that smell earthy and sweet, their murmurs perfuming raindrops.
I fancy dipping my toes in the mozzarella globules that dot the space between us.
I imagine a you and a me sinking our calves, thighs, hips and chests below the goo,
our arms stretching out but failing to make contact through the sludge—
your puckered lips can’t even catch my cheek.
The rich, velveteen gloop of our hands inside one another is the stick of chocolate
in my teeth. I bring you to my mouth like I can floss with your fingertips.
I half expect you to tip my head back and inspect my cavities
or grab my jaw and shake me until my teeth rattle out of their gums.
Our empty wineglasses rival each other’s rigidity like children at a party
playing a high stakes game of musical statues. One more glass
and I might be tempted to crawl into its bowl and breathe in time to your swallows,
my heartbeat tracing out the exact rhythm of the Merlot leaving its bottle.