Stumble in the just dark

to light blunts in the backyard,

we brave the mosquitos and marshland

Of Long Island.

By the inground pool,

time becomes taffy,

pulls from the cherry bowl, taste

acrid ash and cough.

Passing ghosts between us,

a kind of stupored communion,

where leftover cheap chocolate smacks

of finer things.

I could sit in that cheetah-print beanbag for hours

and maybe I do,

watching Emma’s outstretched arms

conduct harmonies only she can hear.

When the only residue of the evening

is the lemon scent of Lysol,

the ping-pong table freshly scrubbed of beer,

I listen with closed eyes —

could swear I hear singing.

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