Narrating a Reunion

Sebastian Hasani Paramo

Wasn’t it a strange house?
That swimming pool above ground?

Some streamers & party horns, whistles too
for the little ladies looking for balloons un pastel de tres leches.

Would you like fruit with that sugar?
Isn’t that what clowns say?

How about a pitcher of kool-aid. Isn’t it strange,
the stereo is playing mumbled in the background?

Aren’t these people out of your league? Aren’t they
walking away now? They don’t want you here,

walking in their shadows, smoking their cigarettes.
It’s inconsiderate to say she’s with him. Your dad is talking

about your ex-girlfriend, he says she cheated on you. But
that wasn’t you. It was actually a story about: his brother’s ex-girlfriend,

a story about his nephew who died of Mad Cow disease. A story of
Bad meat & bad beer. A story of DUI. Your nephew without a father.

Your uncle without a daughter. The shunned wedding.
The long-drive funeral. Story of: all those empties on the floor.

Wasn’t that girl arrested for dealing last year?
There’s a lot of fire in the backyard going. 

Aren’t there enough men spinning yarns? Them thumping guitars,
that sizzle of beef? There’s some cops shutting it all down.

They say go home. Go home to your loneliness.
                       Isn’t it true, all that happened years ago?

That you’re too stoned to see anybody else. Crouched beneath
the park in swim trunks, weren’t you just a small boy once,

kissing a girl twice your age.
When she stepped out of the pool. There was no tongue.

You’d like to believe that, wouldn’t you?
How many birthdays did you forget? 

How many of them blurred all together?
Wasn’t everybody growing older at one time?

All of a sudden, they’re saying you’re tall. You look grown
& maybe it was a reunion, your birthday, that Fourth of July party

maybe there was no reason. Isn’t that funny, your friend says
even in adulthood, there’s some child inside you asking

What’s the use of blowing out the candles,
cheering a new anniversary, if we don’t remember anything at all.