Happy Hour, New York City

by Jane Yeh

Jane Yeh

The maxidress of the afternoon sags like cheap jersey
As the first margarita is shaken and poured. The heat is
A blanket smothering all thought, is an abominable
Sauna room the size of a city; the steady drip
Of air-conditioning units pools on the sidewalk.
We clink our plastic glasses together, duel with tiny umbrellas.

The cinnamon bun of the conversation
Unspools till all the gossip is gone—Maxine of the office,
Our Lady of Scandals, Fernando of the enormous
Nose. Another round. The strawberry daiquiris
Melt like pink slush in the sunlight’s glare.
In the unfathomable depths of the popcorn bowl

Lie the answers to all life’s questions: what are
We here for? (Cheap drinks). Day drains from the sky
Like the contents of a highball glass. A succession
Of dogs comes out to be walked before dinner.
The traffic stops and goes past, a mechanical river.
A siren goes off in the distance somewhere, like somebody crying.

Last updated March 09, 2023