Watching TV at Home

Patrick Faller
Feb 7 · 1 min read

A cooked bird’s breast sliced open,
and a woman — the one about
to marry the man seated before the bird
stuffing a forkful of dressing-battered meat
into his maw — has been to jail
but was bailed out. She leans
to the man on her left, cupping
his bicep. What she says to him
drowns in music and, in voice-over narration,
another man saying, “What we did then
wasn’t glamorous, but it was just
the thing we needed.” Then something further:
a justification for winding up
in a strip club on Thanksgiving, feasting
off the buffet while fishnet-clad legs jut
in the foreground. The scene has shifted,
the woman no longer visible, her plight
forgotten, relegated to the B-story.

The particulars of each of these relationships
would be difficult to tease out
without subjecting you to pages-long digressions.
Suffice it to say each is bound
to the others through hope and love, rendered
breakable by such bonds when they’re pulled
by circumstance, conflict, shifts that force
to the surface some unfulfilled wish, desire
for some richer thing, a greener life.
We witness them speaking and doing and are moved
or not. We see a part of ourselves nonetheless
when we press the button, killing the power —
at least we used to. Where there once was glass
there’s foggy plasma, dully sheening.

Patrick Faller

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When teaching, I aim to help students use writing to connect with their passions. When writing, I try to guide readers toward what they might have missed.