at a bougie restaurant in manhattan with five of your best friends

at a bougie restaurant in manhattan with five of your best friends

at a bougie restaurant in manhattan with five of your best friends 1920 1080 Courtney Tala

& one god damned taco will cost fourteen dollars &
sometimes it’ll be worth it but tonight     it will not
so you’ll drink your hunger instead & at the trendy bar
your friend will open his piccolo app & the app will say:

drink four if you’ve cried from relationship drama in the past week
& you will take four sips & everyone will laugh at the coincidence
& then it will challenge your friend to name each of your exes
& you’ll feel the alcohol burn your throat as you swallow
the last one’s name & it’s been two weeks
since you sent a text that said     he’s fucking leaving me

& that same night your friends hid in the parking lot
until his car left for the last time     then showed up
at your door & sometimes there’s a comfort in silence
how they knew what you needed when you couldn’t
ask for it yourself     how you were crying too much
to say thank you     but they knew     they knew &

tonight you are four hundred miles from home
but sometimes home is just a place where you can finally
stop holding your breath & here     the six of you
leaning onto each other in laughter will feel     like an exhale

& the app will say everyone, bottoms up! so you’ll clink
over the center of the table & stare into your beer
before finishing it     without once coming up for air
but this time     it won’t feel like drowning & tomorrow

the six of you will board a bus back to virginia
& your friend will fall asleep     her head slumping onto your shoulder
& as you stare at the fields zipping by your window
you too will let your eyes rest
riding the rise and fall of her breath     listening
to each soft exhale & exhale
& exhale

Header photograph © Jason D. Ramsey.

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