I never thought I’d be in a penthouse
celebrating some stranger’s 22nd birthday.
The chairs soaked with merlot, a girl
puking on her blue satin dress, various
clouds of smoke creating a faux heaven.
A feeling strikes me here. I know a few
people and not myself. The window,
choking on its caulk, appears to pull away
toward the streetlights with this notion.
The champagne pops & I am brought back
from a breakdown. Strangers bubble over
with talk of security on their way to bust them.
But back at the window, I swear I see my father.
Stooped over the gutter below. His breath escaping
like a pack of wolves chasing an Elk’s fawn.
He looks up at me, points at the moon resting
on the horizon. Mouths his practiced goodbye,
“Your world is filled with people who want me
to leave them alone.” When I wish to follow him,
my two friends say it is time to leave. So we steal
some beer, a few pens and paper for self portraits,
and I thank them for bringing me here. 8 stories
up at 11:54PM. Watching this man I’ve never met
disappear onto a fading bus. Each of us thinking
it has taken so long to get this young.

Alex Zitzner is currently an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal, and the Co-Vice President of the West Central Region for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

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