I sought this guy out at the party
to thank him for the joke he’d told
at last year’s party, which had served
as my icebreaker at every party since.
He vaguely recalled the party, me,
but the joke not at all. I recited the joke
and watched his confusion tumble
into a bottomless well of joy –
an Alzheimer’s patient discovering
his own hidden Easter egg. Good party,
I said. Good party, he said.
Good party, I said to the hostess,
my hands excavating the mound
of coats on her bed. I hurried home
almost satisfied, rain lashing down on me
as it does after parties. I jangled my key
into the lock and the neighbour’s dog
sprang up – I’m here! I’m here!
I’m here! I’m here! I’m here!
Previously published in Riddle Fence #5.