After Dinner

by Eliana Carter | Poetry | Fall 2018

Art by Brady Marks

we wander downtown to a bar in the
gay neighborhood, block vacant
save for a few cars and a shopping cart,
and take a seat by the window.
The bar is covered in rainbow pinwheels
and Lady Gaga music videos play on the TV.
We sit in silence and flip through a travel brochure.
The bartender, in her most believable accent,
pretends not to know of our youth.
Stiff smiles and a salty bar. Blue Moon, please.
When you leave to go to the bathroom you get stuck
behind the small crowd. I catch your eye from
across the room, heart boiling up in my chest.
Twist the dial to make the colors brighten.
I can’t hear you from across the bar.
It’s gotten so loud between us it’s like we need
a megaphone to shout, How are you feeling?
to yell, to plea maybe. Come back here!
Earlier, at the Thai place, we were caught kissing
in the bathroom and left out the kissing part
when we told the story. Earlier, we tried not
to talk too loud, texts sent in the same room.
I want to take you back to before. Where what we had
was love in clear sentences. Right now I’m slurring my words.
I can’t remember what I meant to say. I think it’s just,
I love you. Louder. I think it’s I’m sorry.

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