gin and tonic suite



a sip of gin and tonic makes me think of 

fleabag and hot priest, the canned variety 

when you told me you were raised catholic too, you touched my arm 

“been a while since the only touch i knew was 

holding hands with my crush during ‘our father’” i told you 

my tongue stumbled through a laundry list of bar regulars 

when your knees touched mine— 

yes i wanted this but i heavy heaved all the way here— 

avoiding the storm drains of midtown in high heels— 

a song stuck in my head said 

“i don’t know why i am the way i am” 

the bartender slid me another glass 

“what’s the appeal for older men?” you asked me 

i stumbled through the archives, the closet, the 

relics on the back of my head— 

a weird thing with a teacher in school— 

a crush on a professor in college— 

i just shrugged. 


you paid for the ride to brooklyn and we sucked each other’s faces off 

i checked the rearviewmirror once in a while 

when we got to williamsburg i locked 

eyes with the driver as you kissed my neck 

i looked out the window 

“nice loft” 


“oh there was a nice big loft on the right” 

you asked me for a safe word 

i recalled the last thing 

i felt on my breath—yes it was you 

but you have an underlying bitter 

taste in my mouth—

“gin and tonic” 


your silver hair glistened, sun rays fell into my bed. i looked at you, sleeping, undisturbed. how tenderly does the sun glint through the liver spots on your back. i did the math once again. my stomach dropped at the answer. whore. i nestled myself in your arms. fucking whore. i kissed you and we made love again. whore whore whore whore. 

you were about to run into traffic when we headed out for coffee, i had to hold you back, “what’s the deal with all these people on a saturday morning,” you said, i don’t know you’re asking us, you got a large black coffee and i got a matcha latte with oat milk, fucking gen z and their drink of choice, when you kissed me as we parted ways i felt how i judged the girls partying with older white guys in bali, or the interracial couple making out on the plaza, and venerated my teacher and his wife, all the while, thinking about him inside me. 


“you are old enough lmao this isn't a grooming situation” my friend said 

but i still feel like a child 

stumbling through the storm drains of midtown 

the guilt and the shame it does persist. 

i want to fuck without constantly 

thinking about imperialism, 

the global south, and catholicism. 

i guess that’s too much to ask. 

i find myself another bar, 

i hold a gin and tonic.


Patricia Kusumaningtyas is an Indonesian writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Their poetry has been published in HaluHalo Journal and Culinary Origami Journal. Their full length play “Some Things Last a Long Time” received a staged reading at the Drama League in 2022 and is running in the upcoming 2023 Twenty by Twenty Fringe. Besides working in the realm of theatre and poetry, she is also a tech worker and a film & music critic/writer.