She smiles a distracted slice of melon
or a sliver of the new moon,
disguises her lack of curiosity,
doesn’t really want the next question
smiles in the way she was taught—
pretty, vacuous, unassuming.

From behind her shadow
a sigh like a soft moan escapes;
this movie has been seen before.
She is the star of boredom.
The twinkle in her father’s eye

that dimmed years ago.
There is no reason to stay,
no reason to be polite
but she does both.

When it is over they rise in tandem
a quick thank you and good night,
a hand shake across the linen-clothed table.

The car her refuge, a private sanctuary.
She vows aloud the sacred words

No more.