by Jeremy Radin
Cocktail Party at the Producer’s Villa
There in your backless dress,
drinking your wine, talking
about the institution, pink pills
in white paper cups, you are
so fucking radiant I must turn
away to consider the fountain
in the middle of the room
and turn off my hands and turn
off the harps and marigolds
and separate my business from
my business, which is not relief,
not yet, but how foolish I feel
in this tuxedo with my combed
hair and polished shoes, standing
amidst these effortless soldiers,
and how I might in a moment
change everything, both my life
and yours, Isabella, simply by
lowering one foot and then
the other into the water.
Not lips you need kiss, but river.
Not luminous torso arcing toward
heaven, but luminous beads
unloosed from heaven’s belly.
Not palms but pond; not breasts
but brook; not stroke but seep;
not fuck but flood. Make no
mistake: only one will kill you.
Only one cannot be cured
by composure. How many
days did you choke on the gray
dust of a name without so much
as a swig? Not desolation, drought.
Not thirst, thirst. The first step
toward anything is being
here. Eight glasses a day,
enough to turn you tributary,
tumbling into some calmer
body, trusting then that one
will come to kneel
at your edge
Jeremy Radin is a poet, actor, playwright, teacher, and extremely amateur gardener. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Ploughshares, The Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, The Journal, and elsewhere. He is the author of two collections of poetry: Slow Dance with Sasquatch (Write Bloody Publishing, 2012) and Dear Sal (not a cult press, 2017). He was born and lives in Los Angeles. Follow him @germyradin.