Delia Pless

Santa Barbara

So it went on, a few night fires,
deep bass emanating from the corners of the yard.

Moving through the streets we felt the air in patches.
Warm spots gave way to cool spots
like the whole thing was a lake,
the tennis players waving mildly.

This was April. The racks
in the department store. A thousand of shirts
and your cousin with the big shoulders
who just couldn’t seem to find anything good.

You explained later how he beat up on a frat kid
under a marquee in Santa Barbara.
It was beautiful.

Sometimes a beautiful thing announces itself
for exactly what it is, like it’s here to beat you up.

We found ourselves in a field then
watching the lights across the lake,
having mistaken them for the moon somehow.