The Maynard
October 2013

Laura Ritland

City Life: Summer Parties

You do not know the way
past the empty electricity station,
dark cypress, maladroit laneway van,
which would lead you to those voices,

but you could discover the house
if you'd like. Open the gate, hop the fence,
take a hypothetical wine with strangers
on that provision of lawn and light.

And even if they would not know you,
even if you would have travelled so far
to encounter the stranger of yourself,
it is anywhere better than being here,

tonight, at your desk, with the indifference
of unopened books and the radio talking
in paper voices about tragedies
in the next-door room. The world

has never felt so impossible to live in.
You wish you had some thought
strong enough to guide you. Something
to prop open the window, wedge

apart the back door. A strip of light, tossed
through like a shout down the laneway.