It started when I arrived too early.
I circled the block, muttering song lyrics.
We all walked in together,
hugged hello, how are you,
good to see you.
“You remember your cousin,”
he prompted his son.
“No,” his son said, and I thought
but smiled anyway.
My choice of pinot noir
reflected itself on the mirror table,
a doubled threat to the cream carpet.
The children were either
too young or too old
or not children at all.
I burned my tongue on hot soup,
bit my tongue on sharp words.
I was surprised to find
she smelled faintly of cigarettes,
or maybe I was just remembering it.
They both assumed I had
plans to keep, mountains to climb,
but I was only tired of repeating
that nothing is new.
He walked me to the door
so he could get fresh air
and warn me that the road was dark
and it was raining.
It ended when I left too early.
I circled my own block, muttering goodbye.