Joan Dark

Poem: Dinner for One

Dinner for one in a rusty old diner Is there anything more American? Or more American-a when you throw in seemingly bottomless bowls of soup and glaring eyes that will make sure you have a good grip on the pepper spray you carry in your handbag. Even if you’re not prepared to use it.

But dinner for one in an old diner can be comforting Conjuring images of the neoliberal American dream At a time where the only gay activity was making suggestive glances with the “sharply-dressed” person across from you until one of you cums. Over for dinner later.

Dinner for one in a rusty diner makes me think of home and all the conversations I’ve had people I call family over muzak. Or the familiar drawl of Willie Nelson as I tell my life story to people I’ve only just met.

Dinner for one in a diner has me thinking of all the strangers I’ve glanced at in diners before, knowing that if I’d made more suggestive motions, it could have led to us hooking in one of the single stall bathrooms, or in the back of my car. Dinner for one has me thinking of all those chances I never took.

Dinner for one has me thinking of all the people I’ve lost and won’t ever get to sit with over coffee in a rusty, racist, backwater old diner. And how I’m going to carry that weight, to make sure they aren’t forgotten.

For now, I guess I’ll just… enjoy the moment. And hope that I don’t have to wait too long before spending some quality time with myself in a shitty old diner.