We were invited to a pool party.
An email went around.
Burgers and beer would be served.
If you can, please bring a side dish,
the email said.

On our way to the pool party
we stopped at Mollie’s for
some chips and salsa.
We grabbed a chip bag and contemplated
the other guests.

What if there already are tortilla chips?
We could get salsa.
We could get Circus Animal cookies.
And so we did.
Also, a 12 pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

When we got to the pool party,
no one answered the door.
There was noise coming from the backyard, the sound of
splashing from the pool.
I tried the gate but it was nailed shut,
so we decided to knock
before letting ourselves in.

Truth be told, we were late for the pool party,
beyond fashionably.
The pool party was from 12-4,
and we showed up well after three.

Near the entry of the house of the pool party,
bags of clothes were strewn about.
We stepped over them toward the kitchen.
Through glass doors I could see
the backyard filled
with people by this point,
most of whom were in the pool.

We didn’t bring suits to the pool party.
We thought we’d be too late, and
to be honest, I didn’t want to swim.
I wanted to drink PBR and
maybe eat a little something.

Now, however, in the backyard of the pool party,
shaking the hands with guests,
surveying the situation, living it,
I wish I had brought my suit.
I mean, I can drink a cold beer from a can
and stand in a pool of water at the same time.

Instead, at the pool party,
I ate quickly and drank quicker:
Burgers and chips and pie and ice cream.
PBR after PBR.

I moved to the corner of the pool party
to get into shade.
I took my shoes off and sat at the pool's edge.
I was partway in —
The water was cool and nice, and some folks swam by to introduce themselves.

At the pool party,
there were two-pieces
and black and white baggy trunks.
Geometric shapes
and floral printed patterns.
Back hair and long hair
and pasted down curly wet hair.
I was partyway out.

Someone at the pool party said, This water is merky.
I swilled back a quarter of the can in hand.
Do you know Joe Pytka? someone asked swimming to another topic before a response.
I drank another quarter down.
My brother designed a spiky chair,
I'm drinking.
I had my fantasy football draft yesterday,
I bring the can back up.
I have a 75-year old physicist as a client,
the rest is spit.

It was a pleasure attending the pool party,
thank you for having us.


Up earlier than usual,
I take Heidi for a walk.

The world is vacant,
we had it to ourselves.

We walked a familiar street,
up the hill we know so well.

Stairs lead
to the street
that takes us to
our private park.

Placed in a pocket,
jammed into the let, and
cupped into the palm
of the hand,
the park is ours.

Heidi squatted,
like she does,
the park was, you see
also her bathroom.

So, with a bag,
I go to pick it up
(a dog owner's main objective)
when I'm shocked,
no wait, stung
by a bee.

Shot like a shotgun,
the bee got me
behind the ear.

I felt it
before I say it:

Fuck me.

I swat
and spin around,
and come
face to wrist
with the accomplice.

Black and gold and,
Is it dead?
I knock it off.
It hurts, oh it still hurts.

I looked down
and notice
another shade of gold,
a yellow, turd-like finger,
a slow moving,
Banana Slug.