Dinner with Friends

The New Republic

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POETRY JUNE 20, 2013

Dinner with Friends

It’s so beautiful in the yard right now,
someone could be getting married.

The grass is so blue. We’ve eaten,
it’s late. The neighbors have strung lights up along the fence.

Around the back door, smoke from one of us
drifts up above the grass like steam over a pool.
It’s gone on a while, in this way, the talk
full of falling sounds, like runoff—

But the night is also a structure: the one who smokes
likes to do the dishes. Another one dries.

The wiping of the counter, the closing gesture.
Efficiency, followed by quiet.

Then it breaks. The door, and beyond it, the widening street.
We’re careless, now, in the way we kiss each other’s cheeks, extravagant,
which makes a kind of momentary heat, confusing the air.
Leaving settles it.

Standing now at the white basin
I see, above the neighbor’s lights, the moon,
large and unused, like us, her unmarried children.

The night is a sieve.
We all come pouring out.

 

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