She sat across from me,
methodically grabbing a handful of small, silver bodies,
sorting them out one by one.
as she tore off each head
saying that they weren’t good to eat
and plus, they looked ugly that way.
As she rhythmically continued this motion,
we talked of her past.
Of what could have been,
of the fact that the very fingers presently ripping off anchovy heads
used to caress piano keys daily,
until the day her shoulder wore down,
and wore out,
putting an end to her sparkling dreams.
Even today, she said as she grabbed for another handful
it still hurts when I’m tired.
With each falling anchovy head was another memory resurfacing;
perhaps, another regret?
Then she stopped
and the conversation finished
as she brushed off the remaining decapitated bodies
and walked away, complaining of how they smelled.