Nina Brav

Writer, Blogger, Entrepreneur

Filtering by Tag: love

Milk Duds

They're sweet again

no longer unpleasant

to chew

or feel

caramel stuck to teeth

The aftertaste

makes me want


and more

I have

a box to myself

an extra serving

of caramel and calories


as good as they taste

as glad as I am 

to have this

just be mine

I can't help but hope (I'm only stage 5)

they forever taste like

friendship lost 

and love betrayed

to your selfish,

consuming lips.

Take the Damn Date

I hate saying that I’m a feminist. Of course, I am one in based on its current definition. Yes, I would like to be paid as much as a man for equal work and quality. Yes, I would like to be not be harassed walking down a street alone at night. And, yes, it would be nice to not have to worry about my sister or me being sexually assaulted at the rates that women currently are. Still, I hate the word feminist. (Note: That’s another essay, but feel free to message me if you’re curious as to why.) So you know I must be pissed because I’m about to go off on what could easily be called a feminist rant.

I recently found myself at the end of what would have been a four-year relationship. The break up was devastating – one of the worst pains I’ve ever felt. But a few glasses of wine, a handful of sad poems, and some 50s love songs later and I’ve got to say that I’m doing all right. (I’m over simplifying but you get it.) I’ve hung out with some new people, taken some trips, even been asked on a few dates. I’ve spent a solid two months learning how to enjoy myself as a single adult with the authority to do what I want.

Part of my newly single checklist was to “meet more people.” “Join Meetups,” someone suggested. “Sure, okay,” I responded and I filled out all the mandatory information and clicked a few groups that seemed interesting to me – foodies, writing, bar crawls. To my horror, my friends started texting me “Hey, I just got an email notification that you joined my meet up group!” (Thanks, Meetup, for telling everyone in my life what I’m up to. God forbid you want your life to be a little private.) One of the texts was from a friend who was new to the Boston area. He mentioned board game night at some bar.

“It’s next Saturday and we should sign up.”

At risk of sounding like a dick, beer and board games seemed more like a Wednesday night kind of event. It’s not something I would want to spend my Saturday on, but my friend insisted and I reluctantly signed up with the asterisk, “We’ll see.”

Well, we did see. As it turned out, this nice guy I had met asked me on a date for Saturday night. I’d forgotten about board game night when I agreed to the date. When I did remember, I didn’t feel particularly bad about it.

 “Hey, sorry I won’t be able to make it Saturday.”

“Oh, why not?”

“Hot date,” I responded, “or just a regular date lol.”

“Oh… that was fast.”

Fast was clearly referring to my new status as single adult. I was totally taken aback. Excuse me? What in the world is fast about going on a date as a single person?

“I’ve been single for two months,” I responded, as if this was some sort of justification for the “fastness” of my moving on.

This date was not my first. I’d been on two others since the break up. That’s kind of what happens when you become single – you get to date other people and see what the world has been like while you’d been handcuffed to your significant other for the past four years.

His statement, joke, whatever you want to call it, may have been innocent enough (although that can be debated), but it had so much to do with how society expects a woman to handle a break up. I’m supposed to be in pieces. I was supposed to binge Netflix for four or five weekends in a row with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. I was supposed to hope that my ex will throw rocks at my window, apologize for fucking crushing me, and take me away on his white stallion. Ignoring the fact that we’d look stupid galloping about on steed down the streets of Boston (although less so than other places, perhaps), I refuse to sit alone at home, all sad and pathetic, especially when I know my ex’s friends are encouraging him to “get back out there” and “get a taste of something new” (or whatever dudes say to each other). I refuse to “wait” to meet new people in hopes that my ex will come to his senses and try to win me back (again).

I guess the whole point of this potentially feminist rant is: do not let anyone make you feel like you should be sitting by the phone waiting or that you need to be sad and writing crappy break up poetry every night. By all means, do those things too if it suits you. If this ever gets up on my blog, you’ll know the proof is in the pudding, but don’t let society’s expectations of female behavior be an excuse for not moving on, living life, and having fun. We’ve earned the right to move on in whatever way we want to. In my case, it’s going on adventures with friends and letting potentially strange, but halfway decent, guys take me out for dinner, drinks, or a movie. Whatever you decide, be healthy and find ways to be happy. Let them think you’re fast – take the damn date.


When I replay every memory, he’s the bad guy. It’s like in each photo, thought, and memory from the past four years, this person who I knew and loved is somehow replaced with a hooded bandit. In these new memories he wears a black mask over his eyes. He is sneaky. He wears black gloves and carries a burlap sac where, with a light touch, he puts away trinkets he’s swiped from me over the years.  


Yesterday we said goodbye. When he kissed my forehead, he put his hand to my chest, as if to try to reach my heart one last time. And before he left, he gave it all back. He handed me the bag filled with the bounty he collected over the past four years. I surveyed the bag’s contents: broken glass and mirror, rusted jewelry, faded photos. Each item he’d taken was returned shattered, wore, or ruined. My blue striped teakettle, my small beaded jewelry box, a silver necklace my mother had given me on my 18th birthday. All these treasures, like me, diminished.


I pulled out some of the shattered bits and held them in my fist. I didn’t care that they cut into my skin. I couldn’t feel. I couldn’t cry. I didn’t know he’d taken these things from me. I didn’t know he was a bandit. That is the hardest part, I don’t even know that he is. But whatever he is, he’s gone and I’m alone with just my shattered bits and bloodied hand. I’m alone again, broken again, and sitting on my floor wondering, ‘what now?’

There's Something about December

There's something about her that catches his eye. Maybe it's the playful ways she pulls at the blue string of her sweatshirt. Or maybe it's how she blows kisses to strangers or keeps her hair in front of her face. Perhaps it is her eyes -- icy blue like his favorite freezer pop that came in the plastic. She was cold. She was cruel. She was his perfection and the stick thin object of my disdain.


You appeared in my dream last night--

A dusty memory that shocked me to my core.

You smiled your devilish grin and,

suddenly, I was 15.


Your slimy words slithered into me,

"Great to see you..." they hissed,

"Can I see you again before I leave?"

The black pit rolling around in my stomach got bigger

"Sure," I managed.

--In fell my lungs.


After I walked away,


from having seen you

for the first time in so long,

I cried. Well, dream me cried.


My dream self mourned for the broken-

hearted youth you left behind

so many years ago

in your trail of destruction.


The poor young girl who,


still lives inside me--

15, weak, and broken.

She grips her insecurities

like an even younger me

might've gripped my stuffed dog's paw. 


I woke up.

It was a dream, of course I woke up.

But the black pit never subsided

and my mind couldn't stop kept lingering 

on the his playful smile

and his gentle touch that burned

my cheek.

A scab, it seems, I picked raw

--aching, bleeding, fresh,

like when I was 15.



Black Leather and Red Carnations

It's easy to miss you when you're gone. 

As I lay on crumbled sheets, 

Lights dim, I look for your brown shoes

To be perfectly placed at the foot

Of my bed.


I want to run my finger tips

Along the black leather of your

Satchel, slightly worn and seated

Proudly on a chair.


I sniff, wondering if the scent

Of your three cologne mix

Might still linger in the room.


I close my eyes and imagine in just

Moments I will hear that familiar

Tap, tap, tap

On my window.


I open them. 


No shoes to see, bag to touch,

Scent to smell, or taps to hear. 

Just the red carnations

You left on my table.