I Sit At Fancy Tables At Fancy Parties

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I sit at fancy tables, at fancy parties, with fancy people that I despise.
Silently chewing spinach salad with bile in my throat, I smile.
For, I am well trained like those who remain in the company of
Fancy people.

Sparkling glasses on
White linen tablecloth.
Deep musk,
Veal with
Dark red wine.
Chomping teeth
Smiling,
Too white.
Nothing is real anymore.

I am asked asinine questions about vacations I never took,
Artists I need to know and writers I should read,
Poets I should quote and whose work I should see.
I sigh, exhaustedly inhaling their cigarette smoke,
Wondering, “What was the point in quitting?”

I blink once and try to breathe.
Dinner fork in left hand,
Knife in right.
Don’t scoop Travis.
Submerge,
Plunge the fork through the meat.
Delicately.
Limp, faggoty wrists?
Very nice.
Look up. Smile.
(Insert ass-kissing compliment)
(Cue white boy voice)
“Oh, isn’t this delicious? What a lovely party, yes?”

They smirk, nod, maybe even laugh.
“Do they know?” I wonder,
“Can they tell?”
I have holes in the bottoms of my shoes
And my feet are cold on the newly polished,
Hardwood floor.
Note to self:
Be the last to ascend the stairs.

Christmases with fake green needles,
Falling on rough black carpet that
In its heyday
Was a gentle pale brown.
Pallets on the living room floor,
Reeking of alcohol and piss.
Construction boots constructing
Sawdust fortresses around broken toes
Dogs barking to be fed,
Babies crying to be cleaned,
Women screaming o’er the chaos.

I look at them,
Really look at them.
I see through their guise:
Big teeth monsters with
Big dark eyes looking through you;
Big hands touching on you; and
Big tongues smothering big spoons.
Your body: the main course,
The sacrificial lamb
To the Gods of Destruction.
“Oh grow our wealth! Extend our lives!
Here’s to being young, rich, and fat!”

I sit at fancy tables at fancy parties with fancy people that I despise.
For I am the entertainment, the punishment, and the meal.
The embodiment of all those who’ve come before
To sit,
To dine,
To dare to be Fancy!
I am the stranger
At the fancy table,
At the fancy party,
With the fancy people.

4 Responses to I Sit At Fancy Tables At Fancy Parties

  1. Gin Thomad says:

    Lovely Mr.Ballenger.

  2. Emily says:

    I can’t wait for more. Beautiful.

  3. Adam Johnson says:

    Great piece.

  4. Tyler says:

    I absolutely love your poem.