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comment by _refugee_
_refugee_  ·  261 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Moments

I wrote this in 2015 and it models after the relatively well-known poem 4th of July at Santa Ynez.


Fourth of July at Faulkland Heights


Under the blue tent canopy

relief from today’s defiant sun.

Chatter winds its way up in background,

cheerful hum made by all the young men

and women playing at their majority.


Wandering apart from the others

as ever, I found Adam in the kitchen

from one pot to another, to a new guest,

to a bottle, to his camera. Last year

he made clams and I drunkenly

stood over them and ate til they were gone.

The year before he didn’t have a party.

Just the four of us found a pool and drank,

repeated the same lines from the movie

TBS always repeats – Independence

Day – and then I left them,

like I always do.


This year I asked Adam for a party.

Last time we were actually face-to-face had to’ve

been December. But we talk sometimes.

We email banter against work boredom.

There have been nights we’ve locked

together, puzzle pieces, how man

and woman do. Those often stretch

far apart. I’ve given him so many chances

but between the two of us some lever clicks.

Our engine sputters. Our belts are loose.

We aren’t good romantic partners.

In my mind I’ve come to the bow

that we don’t know how to talk together. Still.


The afternoon gathers shadows

of its prior selves and those

we haven’t seen yet, too.

Slowly, more slowly, we may learn

how to yoke and pull and turn in step.

Or if we never do no one will weep.

I no longer bother wondering why Adam

continues to reach for me. Maybe

we’ll be ready and the whole work

will snap in place but if not, in

the meantime, I will come and spend

a couple hours or an afternoon each year

he invites me (he personally) commemorating

the only ritual we have, the only anniversary.

It’s largely innocent.

​I love repeating memory.

Of course, it would be ours,

​Independence Day.