Taking It

Sitting in a restaurant,
Between the salad and the meal

There’s a thirty-something couple
Next to us.
The man is strenuously arguing
With the waiter over
The price of his bill

“This was way cheaper before.
Why did you raise the price?”

The manager came over.
“It now comes with sides.”

“But I didn’t want them.
I didn’t eat them.
I want to pay the old price.”

“I’m sorry, sir,”
The manager said.

“Well this is fucking bullshit,”
The man exploded.
“Nobody should have take,
Let alone pay for,
A bunch of shit they
Don’t want —“

And at that moment,
I glanced at his wife,
And realized, past
The mere embarrassment in her eyes,
A look that said,
Sure as water finds water,
That she knew what it was

To constantly be given something
She didn’t want to take

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