She used a dull pencil and a thin
piece of flaky bark, she peeled
off a light gray tree, to write down
the address of the party.
Clear and dark brown liquors
dawned the shapes of empty
water bottles and rode with
them in the darkness behind
the bucket seats.
The air everywhere was chilled
and smelled like charcoal smoke
from the plumes that rose
from various parking lots
into the sky.
They stopped on the way and got
sandwiches at a shop where
a family shredded meat on the
grill with cold blades, and
made iced tea with cranberry
juice as a filler.
They took the bottles out early
on the home stretch of the drive,
and as the passenger she poured
a shot for herself in the plastic cap.
All week long they were unsure that they’d
make it this far, but here they were out front
with time to spare.
She held his hand while they walked around
back from their car, and pointed out that almost
everything was perfect.