“Your Party” by David Kirby

I’m sorry I didn’t come to your party
I wish I had an excuse
like the guy who was watching Scooby Doo this one time
and forget about everything else
because for a minute it looked as though Scooby and Shaggy
were going to find a real ghost
but it turned out to be just another crazy old man

why am I sitting here by myself
is it because Camus said
that to sit in a miserable room by yourself for a year
will teach you more than a hundred literary salons
and forty years experience of Parisian life

you always have the best parties
your parties remind me
of those videos of  animals who are unlikely friends
like the calf who is is kneeling
and his forelegs are folded underneath him
like a nun at prayer
and there’s this big chicken nestled on top of them
and the calf has lowered his head
and is resting his chin on the chicken
in a way that says don’t mess with my chicken
and the chicken is looking at the camera fiercely
as though to say don’t mess with my calf

I’d love to make out with you at your party
I know you have to open another bag of restaurant style tortilla chips
and get somebody to put more beer in the cooler
but I’m really hoping
I can catch you in the laundry room say
or out by the fence
the one that separates your yard from the road

the road that began the day you were born
and now that I’ve missed your party
that road’s getting ready to take you away from me
I better do something quick

both the calf and the chicken in the video are adorable
but together they’re ten times as adorable
shame on us for eating them

David Kirby’s collection The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. Kirby is the author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which the Times Literary Supplement of London called “a hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense” and was named one of Booklist’s Top 10 Black History Non-Fiction Books of 2010. His latest poetry collection is More Than This. He teaches English at Florida State University.  

Author photo: Ramsey Mathews

Image: “Be Good or Be Gone” by Jonathan Silverman

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