The camel and the straw

When there’s nothing left to say you eat
knock back the red wine you ordered
begin the cigars I hate.

My mouth is full with all that you said
and I’m too damned polite to do the napkin thing
spit out the one line I can’t swallow.

So I smile
no teeth
while inside I pack up and leave you.

J V Birch


J V Birch lives in Adelaide, South Australia. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines across Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. She has two collections – Smashed glass at midnight and What the water & moon gave me (both published by Ginninderra Press). She is working on her third.

© 2017