I am not sure where I am but I am in Massachusetts in an old mill, converted to gathering space. There is a bar. There are people, talking. And there is music here. Jazz. Poetry.
I am feeling the warmth of all of the above, including the low hum of one plastic cup of chardonnay. I am missing the words to this poem: they are playing the "da-daa da-daa" baseline of "Billie Jean," and it makes me smile.
I see Robert Pinsky talking with some bearded man I don't know. Really. And I think, "how different to be a poet." A rock star would not have this breathing room. He is alone now in the crowd, Mr. Pinsky, that is: the man with the beard is laughing with a woman now. I wonder if the Poet Laureate is alone out of respect or his fans' introversion. I suppose both.
There are drums now and woodwinds to charm a snake. I move my hips — Mom used to call them "snake hips" — and think, "this is the closest I will ever get to Java Joes," and I'm ok with that. This man is singing in bright exotic jazz tones about "the word."
I think of God.
The instruments have stopped, but the music continues with the buzz of conversation to soften it. My ears will ring when I leave here, filling the silence in the streetlight lit streets. The weight of words in my limbs.