Jeannine Savard

The Party: Part Town, Part Literary

A porous hand holds open
the door, the host intense
as if deciphering codes in my eyes.

I was interested in the swallows
people said telegraphed his frequent walks
through town. A hamlet—rather,
since so many children have left for their futures.

A half hour, and I’m roving.
“Deserve your dream,” said Paz.
I knit my brows, oppose my I’s shyness.

Time is out of it, yet pulls a raw pulse.
I pat down half a fat one
a friend stowed in my pocket.

A film on war never stops rolling behind
everyone’s eyes.
Twilight’s last gleaming at the windows.

Late summer guests blow the socketed
rooms with more underlying national anxieties:

—in one, Investments, vest-wearing Wyrds,
stocking up for the children.

—in another, cliques and clucks, heads of another
ilk around Errancy, Temptation.

—at the foot of the bookshelves, a student of
one of the giants of the last century
sharing confidence: “To touch one’s own body
in public, misleads, could cause mutilation.” Better to
sit on one’s hands in the first place. Leave the rowing
to ones better suited, or you know, you’ll drown.

—on the window seat, the linen jacket
is a choking sand, last ditch effort
by the same guy explaining “thrownness.”

—by the broken edge of the fireplace,
a demanding style provides
the facts of a recent break-in: slits
in the fabric, curtains, furniture.
Plasma t.v., totally lifted.
She has the habit of pawing down
her right thigh while speaking.

—At the stairs, one kid dashing
back to his Konami Justifier blasting up
the virtual bank, full plate of
zapped enchiladas between his mitts.

Think: Release. Cart before horse,
then giddy-up to the yard,
small patch on the far side:
one bush, one rose, absorbed-
in —love tokes for the Volunteer. Sing

Old alligator clip still holds.
Smoke breathes like ice
wearing out its teeth.