Sugar Poetry Monthly
At midday the women sit there opposite each other on the red banquette with punched in buttons and sirloin red bolsters, gathered up in scarves and whispers and goat whiskers, hunched over their shared dessert – the crème brulee— the tiny dessert from the fixed menu.
They tap away at the surface with their teaspoons, poker-faced, not daring to eat the first mouthful. Astronauts and ice-breakers united in a single purpose, risking the burnt caramelized surface gingerly tapping with the blades of their skates, tap tapping their silver spoons, edging out from the rim of the ramekin beyond the safety of the tablecloth. Snuffle up dewdrops, eyes blasted with longing and turquoise eye shadow, maybe even a peacock feather tucked into an old hat band gone bad (the crown long stamped on in a fit of post-prandial pique). Titillate deadened senses with the hollow scraping and the waiter hovering nervously: ‘if that will be all or, perhaps, Madame would prefer the pineapple financier… or the ladies would like to take their tisane in the garden…’ Anything to still this moment. Even the builders have stopped drilling up the road, clutching hard hats they fear the explosion. Emergency vehicles are backed up. POLICE AWARE tape wrapped round stunned bystanders. Teaspoons tapping, the women will not be hurried into breaking the ice although a crack has appeared beneath the silverware. A superficial zigzag that they trace with their spoons tenderly as a lover’s scar, delaying a return to the lack of real sweetness in their lives and have to begin again the search for refined sugar in the folds of clothing and table cloths; grains of white sugar crystallizing around the human heart. Blood sugar rising while our low-fat lives remain unsweetened.