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Together we are the best pretenders.

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday, poetry
July 19, 2022

Look at us, sitting in this orange bar on a sunny Friday. The sweat in our eyes makes it look like we’re on vacation. We’re on not-an-island where the drinks are green with blue stripes, or red with orange stripes, or glazed with pineapples, cut into stars, or pieces of mango, the shape of mango. Together we are the best pretenders. Look there, cigarettes are layer caked between pink and blue chalk pieces in a glass ashtray. The couple next to us is pretending they’re still in love. The waitress is pooling water in her hands and the sunlight is beading through in trickles, plopping from her fingers, her black and gold rings, collecting in a black bucket in a black metal sink. Plink Plink. And I think I love anyone who’s dead. How morose you whisper to a mango—I embarrass you. To our left, out of our peripheral, there is a girl learning French. She is mouthing the words chanter and mini jupe and sipping champagne. How emperial! Like the time I saw poverty and thought it was poetry—I mean the time I saw poetry and thought it was poverty. You order every drink with every poison, snake-eater, old-charmer, this is the anathema of everything I like about drinking: I’m starving for you.