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by Jia Oak-Baker

Bill grabs my hand and guides me into the meditation room.
He’s married and I’m married, but we’re not married
to each other. He’s a novelist and I’m a poet, which means
this night is clocking towards disaster. This night, doomed
before he turns the wheel of the skylight as if steering
a ship hard right, will have sunk before I see the shooting star,
before I remember that I should think of his wife.
A shooting star for heaven’s sake! It’s so late and nothing good
ever happens past midnight—that’s what my mother would say.
When he leans in and whispers, I want to kiss you, I don’t
turn away. And so we kiss. I squeeze my eyelids shut.
A million black balloons rise, a blanket of single targets. I want
a spray of buck shot or a shower of arrows to let in the light.
Instead, I let him grope for me in the rising and sinking dark.