SCENES FROM THE AFTERPARTY

There is still goodness in the world.

I know this
as I wash oil and grime from tired skin, picking
clumps of smeared mascara from eyelashes,
considering boiling water for a cup of tea
but ultimately deciding otherwise.
I am far too tired tonight.

There is still goodness in the world.

I repeat this,
as if to somehow convince my body,
prisoner in a sequined dress pinching the waist,
that these fiery red marks will fade by morning.

The unholiness of the night, liquid and artificial,
burns as it reaches the back of the throat.
It will all be forgotten in hours, the whole night
reduced to foggy memories of my too-clumsy dancing,
this utter lack of judgment, hoping you’d come find me
just to kiss the life out of my frame.

You never did. But I’m glad you didn’t.
It would be so much harder to forget this night
if I had to remember how to forget
the feel of you, too.

There is still goodness in the world.

I trust this
as I change out of my misery, standing under
scalding water and letting it burn me pure again.
Tucking my soul into itself, I turn off the light
and force my eyelids to fall deep into a dream.

I don’t recall what it was I dreamt, but I’m certain
it wasn’t you. Maybe of sunrise. Or a kiss.

A clean one, though,
one born out of something good.

escapril day 23: when the party’s over

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