Dinner for One

D

Dinner for one in a rusty old diner
Is there anything more American?
Or more Americana 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.

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.

About the author

Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

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Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

Get in touch

You can reach me for writing jobs, speaking engagements, consulting work and anything else at mxjoandark@gmail.com!