A party somewhere without us glows coal red,
a flicker as strong as a candle forgotten
in another room. The other room is chairs
covered in butcher paper, and everyone
standing, napkins stuck to sweat, palms
or wine stems, fleshy or brittle.
We are not there, nor are we
vines struggling to emulate the banyan
tree in a state we haven't visited since
our earliest births. There's no fear
in this isolation, because you and I,
we make we. We collect the collective.
We sift through fool's gold, leave
light trapped in riverbeds. I've never
met a water that couldn't love me back.
I never met a light I couldn't look in the eye.
Frost locks the car doors—
we are safe—
the wife parade is dust
binned, wrapped up in thistle,
rolling down wintering hills.
I don't think much of it,
though I do think to mulch
the leaves the men, sidelined,
turn from red to brown.
Those were my little communists.
Those leaves would raise
their invisible fists, manifesto in their fall,
whispering simiply, "Yachts
And now an apron waits for me.
I shall hookworm
my feet all morning. Love, I'd do
anything for you except, of course,
wear bouffants to the parade.
Miranda Dennis writes poems, recipes, grocery lists, screenplays, love letters, and newsletters for other people's families. She can be found in Amherst, teaching 24 college students how to out-write her.