After the Party

From the upstairs window I can see

across the street where the party was.

They are packing stacks of dishes

and folding up tablecloths

while the fountain in the courtyard

makes its little sipping sounds.


There’s a man standing on the steps

with a woman in a long ruffled sweater.

I can see his back and her face,

scrunched up like she’s trying to read fine print

written on him somewhere.


Maybe they have met before today.

Maybe they saw each other at the party

after many years.

Is that you?

she might have said as he laughed.

Would you look at that.


Now he leans closer to her

and her hand reaches out for his waist

and they kiss

only half-hidden by the iron railing.


Until she pulls away,

a storm on her face,

and flees into the house

where perhaps her husband is waiting.


She leaves the door flapping open behind her,

but the man doesn’t move to close it.


He stands on the steps,

his jacket draped over a chair in the courtyard

and forgotten.

The wind picks up a sleeve and lets it drop,

a wave undone

as soon as it starts.