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Alice George

For ages all of us have got the story wrong.
Take tonight, this party I just came home from.

There's something wrong with me.  I've
got the wrong end of the stick or maybe

it's the way I'm holding it, the way it's sharp.
The shtick of the party, the excuse of it,

was our children, teenage musicians
running away from us as fast as they

can while standing still and eating
our money and cashing our hugs.  Fast

as a virus, we all said yes when asked to lift
wine in cut glass flutes, lining kids up

to snap their black-clad likeness before a pre-
show call and no one isn't pleasant

but it's horrible too and wrong how
we arrange ourselves thusly. Where the hell

are the family funerals, the messy reunions?
Arranged like an ad for education,

we hum with self-satisfaction we rub
our fingers over the lip of ourselves

we sing without mess or connection. 
The hostess asked for appetizers

or desserts but didn't specify a ratio
so five apple crisps and four pumpkin

pies go on and on about October
in this ad of a kitchen all steel and glass.

For ages all of have got the story wrong,
we aren't supposed to seek out new people

to construct tales of success over
artichoke dip we're supposed to be doing

good work and then resting, tired to the bone.
There's something wrong with me how

when I'm alone I am large and when together
I am small or sometimes it feels the opposite:

I swell like a blister when I rub up against
and subside when alone, a tale told to the wall.

Without mess or connection we drive away
from the reception knowing less than we need

and more than we want. Uneaten desserts
swell in the backseat, lovely and wrong.  








This rant springs from an occasional severe allergic reaction to small-talk, which alternates with a delight in sitting with people talking about the names for different shades of brown. I also compulsively over-bake.