Paper Plate Observatorio

Before very long he was drinking the
chowder and eating beer with a spoon.
Nobody seemed to notice; everyone
seemed preoccupied by poolwater
and slabs of cheese, by neighborly
chit-chat and questions for the happy
graduate about post-grad travel plans.

The trees had greened only a month ago,
but everything seemed like mid-summer:
cargo shorts and sandals predominated and
—since he’d forgotten to bring his journal—
he snagged a couple of paper plates, the
backs of which he deemed adequate to
capture the shaven legs and shapely butts,
the not-so-secret cigaretters, the badly
purloined purse-pocket sedatives, and all
the other small but all-important party favors
that always begged him to be written down.

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