Your paperwork in, it’s like the morning after
a party, the shaken survey of damage,
a waste of bottles where there was laughter.
It all seems so much more than you can manage:
the accusing cups and stubbed-out cigarettes,
the sun assaulting the window, your throbbing head.
It’s not enough to face your own regrets
(though they’re coming back fast, the things you said)
because someone’s trailed bean dip across the table,
someone’s ground salsa in the rug with their shoe.
So you start to clean, as much as you are able,
and think how far those hours have fled from you,
before the hangover and your sour tongue,
when you felt lovely, and infinite, and young.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 Number 2, on page 32
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