Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Lunching Alone, 1987

The waiter was polite but firm about extra butter. Good beginning, she thinks and scribbles an impatient note on the back of a dirty grocery receipt about the over-importance of smiles. Her ice tea is cold; the waiter is cute. She momentarily questions how she knows these things. Food comes quickly in the middle of her studies. All around her: Good face. Bad face. Face to bruise. Face to kiss. In the far corner two faces across a stained table endlessly fall into each other again and again until they are nothing but laughter and remembrance. She tilts her head and measures love in the way some measure overnight rainfall. Her sandwich is stuffed with suspicion and excess. It tastes of desire. She considers the empty space between a mirror and the reflection before eating. Shifting, she mumbles the declension of hunger as the most banal desire and pushes away her plate. Banal desire grows inside her fire bellows steam-blows through the corridors of her patience. Bad middle. She crosses and then uncrosses her legs again. Poor idea. Good idea. Little idea that worms its way into your head and just whispers and whispers. She is still too hot warm bursting, sweat runs down the curve of her back like August. Wiping away the excesses that give way to worry, she raises a finger and asks for the check. As the waiter evaporates into the dimness of too many voices she touches her face and is astounded when her fingers do not burn.

Danielle Rose


Danielle Rose lives with her partner and their two cats in Massachusetts. She is the managing editor of Dovecote Magazine and used to be a boy.

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