Peony

A couple of years ago, on the cusp of New Year, you called. We hadn’t talked in weeks. You were drunk and louche and sentimental. Your voice was heavy with beer, or whiskey, or arak, or whatever the fuck you were drinking. I sat in the gutter in front of a restaurant in my street while we spoke, thinking you might think I’d be partying, and not missing you. I can’t remember what you said. I know it was urgent and emphatic; in that slow, heavy way you speak, and your voice deepening, when you need me to know that you mean it, self-consciousness inflecting your voice with the sting of falsity.

I sat in the gutter on the phone with you this New Years too. The fireworks exploding and hypnotic; bright little humming lights squealing up into the quiet night sky, spidering out then falling home, in one last twinkling grasp at the world.

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