someone’s house party in the beach(es)

the late summer air hangs heavy with smoke. blue smoke. saturday smoke
sweet, and swirling slow
like snakes in the sky. rings. warm and wet. it’s hard to breathe. and strangely comforting. close. dizzying. one bottle of wine. or is it two. i lose track
two am? maybe four. my hair has fallen. my lipstick is faded, but the wine has left its kiss on my bottom lip
i’m dancing in the corner. i’m not alone, but i pretend to be. it’s black. hey black. i know that song. what a great album. we sing. we close our eyes. we move
on to darker things, blacker things, and suddenly i want to hear some tom waits. that scratchy voice. those sable tones
and fuck
i want to smoke
anyone have a… someone offers me a scotch instead. yes. i’ve always wanted to be a scotch drinker
give it to me on the rocks. i’ll take it neat
i need some air
outside the boy by the rosebush tells me he was watching me there, in my corner, and asks me if i’m a pearl jam fan. i say i was always more of a soundgarden girl. soundgarden, he says. he nods and flicks away his cigarette, the smoke curling around his mischievous grin. i love soundgarden. i look up at him. i don’t believe him. he’s not that kind of boy
but he turns and snatches the last rose from it’s autumnal future and before i know it, he puts it in my hair. has anyone ever put a rose in my hair? and he grabs me and we’re dancing close under the twinkly lights and he’s singing right in my ear and he’s singing –
…black hole sun, won’t you come…

  • and he iS that kind of boy and i was wrong
    someone shouts from the kitchen she’s married but he knows. it was just a dance
    and we go back inside and i still want a scotch and the only tom waits i can find is a cover by natalie merchant, but i put it on anyway cuz it’s tom waits enough
    and the record plays on and someone brings out some strawberries and suddenly it’s five in the morning and most of what was aflame is extinguished
    and through the window comes the light before morning. blue light. sunday light
    and the boy whispers something into my ear
    and the rose falls into my hand
    and i blush
    and he sees
    and it’s too late for scotch
    and too early to go home.

Kimberley Orton is a poet/playwright, photographer of skies, and registered midwife who lives and works in downtown Toronto. She holds degrees from UofT in Theatre and English Literature, and is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC.

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