Stefania Gomez

I am throwing a party for one

After Carly Rae Jepsen

that takes place beneath the lake and in a hundred
year old field submerged in mud the mallards float on slowly,
like a lesson about displacement,

And in the laundromat next to my house
that burned down last month,
in the apartments I have moved out of
when the rent was raised, at a poetry reading
wherein everyone but me has published a book

through Copper Canyon Press,
and are all speaking the same strange language,
in other anxiety dreams I dream each night,

such as one in which my blood is totally replaced
with eucalyptus branches, and all my family members
catch some virus and no longer recognize me.

And on the day this winter when the spit froze up in my mouth
and all the days after just like it
and on the day when the world finally ends in ice.

I lied. My party for one takes place on the CTA,
where in the morning there are a thousand parties
for one side by side, hurtling by you every other minute.

It will be a party about setting realistic expectations,
about the rights of the masses over those of the individual,
about the idea of someone, rather than person themselves,
about the fallacy that there are certain lovers
who are better for you than others,

that we don’t just live in a chaotic world
without logic where anyone could conceivably fall in love
with anyone at any time, and because of that, there are countless people
who have the power to hurt you. My party for one will involve a call

to the Metropolitan Tenants Organization hotline
to determine my rights, like my right to 30 days’ notice,
my right to pick the flowers in my neighbor’s yard,
my right to the sky, my right to wait by the phone,
my right to faking laughter, my right to clearance produce,
my right to good junk food, also known as bad junk food,
my right to over and over make the same mistakes and never learn.

At the end of the party the only favors are the friends
you made along the way. I’m kidding. There are no favors.
There is just that sometimes you did the right thing
and sometimes you didn’t, thinking you had.
As my mom would say, you can’t take anything with you
when you go.

I am throwing a party
for one that isn’t about the people who I’ve tried
to let me love, but rather about an evening
in the most beautiful hotel suite I could imagine,
where you are not invited and will never be allowed.

My God– it’s so beautiful, I can hardly believe it’s real,
but it is, stacked above and below a thousand others,
rows and rows like so much confetti.

Stefania Gomez is a queer writer, audio maker, and teaching artist from Chicago's South Side. She received her BA from Brown in 2017, and has work in The Offing, the Missouri Review, and Sinking City Review. She is the author of the chapbook ONCE I LOVED A COWBOY (Ghost City Press, 2019). She works at the Poetry Foundation.
  • 15721
    Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí