The last few bars

of a big-band tune

exposing themselves

without a hint of self-awareness

and the half-sober apercus of a gaggle

of twenty or so

be-sequined, be-suited

women and men of a certain age

their laughter playing

soft on the southwest wind

that is wrinkling the bay—

everyone saying at once

‘I’ve drunk too much’

then later

‘I shouldn’t talk like that’

then later

‘We’ve all been waiting for years’—

and whistling

land-fearing, sea-fearing types

sweeping out the doors

heading home

through minor-key hum of night

to dream as stone.

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