At the party, one of them—so young
it hurts my face—uncorks
his fizzling coldness and pours
a smoky shot into a glass. Another—
even younger, even more gentle
in her movements—sidles in
beside him, her long white legs
speckled with blue veins. Someone
behind them shouts. Another laughs.
A crackle of applause goes on
like fire in this room.
then a liquor smell fills the air.
Let’s sit back
all the way! We’ve thrown
the sticks! The fortune’s read!
Someone here is so sick—
so close to something you—
in this heady innocence
which fogs your eyes like lust—
can only just barely make out
over this music and the steady thump
of your lives. It sounds—
From Just Once: poems by Jamie Parsley. Published in 2007 by Loonfeather Press, Bemidji, Minnesota. Copyright (c) 2007 by Jamie Parsley.