What I’m Thinking on our First Date
When you take me to the Italian restaurant by the river and you ask about the tattoo, I’ll say its Mandarin for blue because that’s my favorite color. You’ll say it looks great, and I’ll know by the way your smile curls like an orange peel that you mean it, and I’ll be glad I didn’t tell you what it really means.
When you order Cabernet Sauvignon for the table, I’ll think about how Joe used to say If I can’t pronounce it I can’t drink it and the rainy nights we spent sipping Blue Moon in a bath too small for two.
When you slip your black American Express into the leather booklet, I’ll excuse myself to the restroom and smoke a menthol cigarette in the stall. Unblemished doors free of fuck yous and Emily’s a whore will give me vertigo, and I’ll pop an Ativan and carve my name in the wood.
When you put your hand on my knee in the cab, I’ll open my legs slightly and pretend I don’t see you looking. You’ll slide your hand higher, and I’ll think of the times he had me in cars stalled in shady corners of parking lots and when you reach the hem of my dress, I’ll sit on my trembling hands.
When you invite me up for a drink, I’ll ask for Limoncello because I know you won’t have any. You’ll make me a whiskey sour, and it’ll taste like the burn of impending tears, and I’ll ask for another.
When your lips trace the curve of my neck, I’ll dig my fingers into your hair, and you’ll think I’m pulling you closer. I’ll step out of my dress like a snake shedding its skin, and you’ll think the Goosebumps mean I want this too.
When you push me down on the leather couch and the room spins like the teacups ride that always turned Joe green, I’ll let you climb on top of me. You’ll tell me I’m beautiful and when you pry me open and begin to grunt, I’ll think about how for thousands of years farmers have been setting fire to barren forests and how out of decay and ash rose taller trees.
When it’s over, you’ll yawn and lay a clammy hand on my back, and I’ll tell you I hate the color blue. You’ll think I’m adorably ironic, and I won’t tell you that the Moon is tattooed on an arm I have scratched and worshipped and curled against my body for the last five years, and when you kiss my lips, with any luck, it’ll slash and burn me from the inside out.
Ruth Madievsky studied creative writing and biology at the University of Southern California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as The MacGuffin, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, Atticus Review, The Smoking Poet, Revolution House, and others. She currently lives and writes in Los Angeles.