There are words in his stomach.

I can see them, pressing against his skin, urging to be forgiven.

Swallowed without thinking, he gulped and gorged and bit off more than he could chew, washing it down, hoping to drown and drink it away.

He was served for a while, a culinary treat with pieces of her.

He took it and there was a juicy feast.

Mouths watered, chins were messy and nobody used their manners.

There were compliments to the master chef – he wears that big hat so well and he pulls it down over his eyes so that he doesn’t see the guilt.

He turns from the plate and watches her, not remembering the glass house that he lives in, with a woman who washes and bleaches his white uniform, removing all of the stains of adultery.

Does she know?

She waits with a plate of ordinary everyday meat and three vegetables and massages her heart, pushing her own words further down.

She stores them there for him and they press against her skin, as she lay in bed, waiting for the click of the front gate.

She closes her eyes and pretends she is sleeping.

He is thankful and washes the juice and culinary stains from him in the shower, before climbing into bed beside her, turning away so that she doesn’t see his words trying to escape and be discovered.

His stomach gurgles.

In the morning, they kiss at the counter, buttering their toast and each other with pleasantries whilst hiding their stomachs below the bench top.

It’s too early to ruin an appetite.

© ryan


PJ Ryan

Melbourne, Australia

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