We heard the party before we saw it, a low growl
as we turned the corner and came upon the spectacle.
The house couldn’t even contain all the people,
they spilled out onto the front and back yards.
The driveway a veritable parking lot of bicycles,
an abundance of red Schwinns a hallmark to any great party.
I quickly surmised two things, this party would break up soon
since this was a street where the homes were large and white,
front doors flanked by professionally trimmed hedges.
Thought two was that we needed to get drunk.
We brought our own booze, a jelly jar of jungle juice.
A layer of every liquor, honey through deepest amber,
my mother owned. Such a vile potion I brought it back up
immediately. But I knew what the night called for,
mentally cleared that hurdle and focused as I drank
until it burned a path to my belly, then the warmth spread,
suffused my limbs until they were numb. Now I was ready.
That lovely warm numbness traveled up and dimmed
the volume on the litany of persecution in my head
Then you arrived. My beatific, boy wonder. You kissed my brow,
alit from your bike and added it to the mix. You went round
back for a beer as I cut through the house, I can’t even remember
why I went that way, when I came upon him, the other, the one
before you, but you two were friends. You were friends
with everyone. And he was so slight, he looked lost
in his rugby shirt, as he sat on a chair on top of a coffee table
in a room where all the furniture hid. He looked at me
and he looked like he needed saving and I thought I could help.
It never occurred to me that I might be the one in need.