In Real Life by Rachel Tanner

Let’s talk about the newness of it all, of the
beginnings that followed me home
the entire hour drive back from your house
the morning you heard me throw up
from last night’s wine and 
tried to kiss me goodbye anyway.

The night was warm. I mostly remember 
how I was shaking when I took your hand
and put it on my knee while we watched
some old horror movie you’d bought
on Amazon. You kissed my head,
kissed my mouth, found a new place
for my clothes and said let me look at you.

You gathered me up, every piece, every
year I’ve spent alone, and moulded
my pasts into something recognisable,
something sweet as the conversations
on your loveseat before we moved to the
couch. Before we moved to the bed.
Before we moved in ways I thought
my body had forgotten. I have never

known you before, but I remember 
you anyway.

This post is brought to you by The Book of Jakarta

Despite being the world’s fourth largest nation – made up of over 17,000 islands – very little of Indonesian history and contemporary politics are known to outsiders. From feudal states and sultanates to a Cold War killing field and a now struggling, flawed democracy – the country’s political history, as well as its literature, defies easy explanation. Like Indonesia itself, the capital city Jakarta is a multiplicity; irreducible, unpredictable and full of surprises. Traversing the different neighbourhoods and districts, the stories gathered here attempt to capture the essence of contemporary Jakarta and its writing, as well as the ever-changing landscape of the fastest-sinking city in the world.

The Book of Jakarta is published by Comma Press

About The Author

Rachel Tanner is a writer from Alabama whose work has recently appeared in Memoir Mixtapes, Wine Cellar Press, and elsewhere. She tweets @rickit.

Bandit Fiction is an entirely not-for-profit organisation ran by passionate volunteers. We do our best to keep costs low, but we rely on the support of our readers and followers to be able to do what we do. The best way to support us is by purchasing one of our back issues. All issues are ‘pay what you want’, and all money goes directly towards paying operational costs.

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