No, we weren’t. I mean, we were in the bookstore together, but he meant as a couple. No. We had just met. We were together in the bookstore because we were lost in conversation at a writing conference, but we weren’t “together” together. That moment made me think, though, about who I was together with: my fiance, who was back home. 16 hours away by car, four hours by plane.
I had been with him for two years; our daughter was just a few months old when I went back to the city where I grew up to attend a writing conference. I stayed with my sister to save money, and then overindulged on books, tea, coffee and alcohol. In three days, I think I consumed more alcohol than I did in my 20s.
When the cashier asked his question, I thought, at first, wow, we must look good together! That idea promptly dissolved when he said, “Nope, we’re just acquaintances.”
The One I Never Slept With
cologne – a hint of vanilla and a tang
that hung in the air when you passed
by. I close my eyes and I’m back
in the musty new bookstore
where the clerk asked if you should
pay for my journals.
It could have been the way
we had matching conference totes or
tattoos on our arms or
that we spoke
of Robert Bly and
Sharon Olds and
It’s not your writing I fell for.
What if my husband knows
I still think of
your sweet smell
your firm arms
that when I
Emily Vieweg is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Northern Eclecta, Red Weather Literary Magazine, WritingRaw.com and is forthcoming in Soundings Review. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, pet parent, data processor and adjunct English instructor. Emily earned her MFA in Creative Writing in 2015 from Lindenwood University.