No Good After Midnight

By. Jessica Hincapie

Dionysus! What is on your record player tonight? Turn up

ABBA’s greatest hits and call me Chiquitita one more time.

The night is young and we are ancient

history, but dammit if you don’t throw the wildest parties.

All the columns choking on vines. Wisteria

fronding from the lamp lights. And I, wishing I’d worn

the dress you gave me at the beginning when the sex was still

effeminate. The dress with the cape made of migrating starlings.

Masterpiece of murmurations. No matter,

I prefer this prison jumpsuit. Gauche orange

like a Halloween pumpkin. Oh! You should know by now

how much better I carry my body when it is a trashcan fire.

Dionysus! Remember our first time? You came

in the back of your father’s classic Panther West Wind. Now

other people’s tongues pulse in your mouth.

Now sirens from the downtown precinct. But not before,

Dionysus! Show us that party trick you do so well.

The one where you pluck out your own femur and make

WOMAN. The one where that WOMAN uses magic

to ensure that her soccer team wins the World Cup.

Dionysus! Sneak us onto the edge of the River Styx. See

which one of us skinny-dips into the deep end first.

I’m betting it’s me who wakes up in your bed again after six

too many red wines. I’ve never been good with endings

or perhaps it’s hard to leave behind a place where no one knows

what you look like naked. And weren’t we once acquainted with

each other’s morning-after tics? How I prefer the smell

of citrus to coffee. How you only ever have human hearts

to offer. Plump and halved like papayas. The kind where a

single bite shows you your own death. The kind where

if you tilt one just so, it will catch the light and turn into copper. A

penny you can throw at a fast-moving train.

Jessica Hincapie is a writer and teacher living in Austin. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Texas and is currently the Program Director at The Writing Barn, a writing workshop and retreat space in South Austin. You can find her work in The Indiana Review, Ruminate Magazine, Four Way Review, and elsewhere.

Originally appeared in NOR 26.

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