Fume off into the darkness with a curse caught in your teeth.
Hurry from the thrall of the window lights
into the damp and dirty streets.
And edge around the cars parked in the road.
And act as if you had somewhere to go.
You could be out for drinks in the city glow
with a buzzing in your head.
You could've brought the TV to your room
and not have gotten out of bed.
But you're stuck in central Oregon instead
with a head all full of things you maybe shouldn't have said.
Little cousins with their video games
and cartoon marathons,
and aunts who fix you with a pitying eye
when they ask how you've been getting on,
and, "What have you done to your hair?",
and, "Is that really such a good thing to wear?"
Punch the button at the crosswalk
to give the blinking light something to do;
it's past midnight, and everyone's in bed by now
but the porch light will be left on for you,
and one standing lamp in the living room,
and the lights on the Christmas tree,