by Ruth Niemiec

Standing on the verge of the ocean
on the verge of success
I liked you a lot, plucked wonder from you
I liked drinking bubble tea with
watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre with you
being afraid, alive,
whole, uncovered

It wasn’t long until I wished you away
It’s hard to say, I get bored easy
Sometimes I think I want them stay
and mostly I want to watch them walk away

I liked you a lot, luscious lawns and tennis
I could see it in our future, white teeth, garden parties
We could have been old, refined, rewarded
We were already ripe
We could have raised children, dogs, businesses, dreams
from ashes we thought had nowhere else to go
We would have surprised one another, why?
Falling back together onto our big sofa with bubble tea

I was so relieved you left, a sigh
Falling in love with myself again and
again, with no man in the way. It’s the thing I do best
Even vulnerable and fragile, even silent walls
open doors, wolf whistles, shopping for one,
unwanted DM’s, I’ll deal with them for the quiet
I will take them to work again from scratch
I will take them to dream big alone
Bubble dreams inside my four walls
Bubble tea for one, Keds, blue Levi’s and
Waylon Jennings Satin Sheets on the stereo

Dinner for one to dream and plan alone

Ruth (she/her) is a writer of non-fiction, fiction and poetry in English and Polish. Her latest work has recently appeared in Dumbo Feather (aus), Mamamia (aus), ABC Everyday (aus) Neon Literary Magazine (uk), Coffee People (us), Parliament (us), Anti-heroin Chic (us), creatures (de), Rhodora (in) and other places. Ruth also reads creative non-fiction for literary publications; Catatonic Daughters and Kitchen Table Quarterly. She's written a novel and the manuscript sleeps in her desk drawer.