When the rain was falling, the rain
people came out, invigorated. And god

said something, but too softly, or the rain was too loud
or the thing was the rain.

Simon lights up the joint and hands it to Corey
who passes it to you without taking a hit. Simon insists

on etiquette: you hold the joint even if you don’t want it,
you make eye contact no matter what. Corey asks what he’s thinking

as one asks a lover after sex, when the answer
is sex or nothing. Simon says the pilgrims.

He says how crazy they must have been
to leave for somewhere that might not even have existed.

Simon, you say, You are ridiculous. Of course
he would be thinking about the Pilgrims.

He’s added chamomile to the weed and the smell of tea
wafts out from the overhang into the rain.

Everything that was ever created was created
to fight loneliness, so the Pilgrims

created salt cod and matchlock muskets and predestination.
You stare through the rain at the couple on the bench

and feel the space between them, which is love,
a small space. Think how crazy the Pilgrims must have been.

Think how they must have felt when that first winter
cut through them and it was so cold the bodies didn’t even smell.

Sometimes, you have a dream where you are lying on the ground
and a jazz band is playing. It’s a big band

with laughter and a huge brass section and they are having
so much fun. The sun and the blood in your head

are warm on the pavement. People are dancing
you could be dancing, you could be people:

you are young, the bodies are bathed in light
so dazzling it is impossible to look straight at them.