That’s how these things start. It’ll be a month of fun. I’ll stay in your room until 4am and crawl
home to sleep anyway. I’ll drink radler and shuck oysters on an ironing board. You’ll come cuddle
on my couch and we’ll call it casual. You’ll make me dinner and I’ll tell my roommates it was just
convenient. I’ll wash my spinach and wonder if I’ve truly lost it, thinking I could ever convince you
to hold my hand on a staircase, touch me at a traffic light, or say my name in front of a stranger. My
mouth will grow an open sore along my gums from the stress. Before our first date, I ran up seven
floors of a high-rise office, fragile heart pumping reddened anxiety, and walked out smiling to meet
you. You know, I could walk 20 minutes to the drive-in and still end up sitting on a park bench
writing about you. Sure. You can learn to live without anyone. On the sluggish escalators at the
supermarket, you asked me what I’d do if you said no and I laughed, disbelieving, and said I’d live
with it. I don’t know what you wanted me to say, whether you hoped I’d drop to my knees for it.
Whether you thought I really would, 19 years old with exposed clavicles, the kind of eyes that make
you think she’ll beg. That’s how these things end. Praying in a parking lot, in a bathroom mirror.
Wiping your greasy hands on the diner tablecloth and asking for the check.
June Lin is a writer from Canada. She loves practical fruits, like clementines and bananas. More of her work can be found in issues of perhappened, Gone Lawn, and Vagabond City. Her debut chapbook how to construct a breakup poem is now out with fifth wheel press. She tweets sometimes at @junelinwrites.
Editorial Art by Dilara Sümbül