Anna Claire Hodge

New Year’s Eve, Key West

Somewhere on Duval, a drag queen named Sushi
descends from a rooftop in a giant cherry red

high-heeled shoe and the day flakes away like
grouper. The city below erupts. Moments apart

cheers waft through the fronds of a palm that we
can nearly touch from our hotel balcony. You

photograph me, all bedroom eyes, slugging
decent champagne from a tumbler as the island’s

house bands strike up their out of sync Auld Lang
Synes. When did we stop locking ourselves away?

Inspecting each other, turning over and over
like jewels under the loupe of morning? Once,

you said that good palms cost a grand a foot. Or
a hundred. Because I cannot remember, I want to ask

you this, to let you again tell me something very true,
like the waitress at the marina restaurant who told us

to steer clear of the chowder, it’s canned. As we sat,
ate the last meal of the year, the boatful of drunks

roped to the dock cast again and again a string of
beads on a fishing line, and as each man bent

to snatch it, he startled, as the necklace
leapt, then snaked away.

Anna Claire Hodge is a PhD student at Florida State University. She received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Collagist, and Bellingham Review, among others. Her poems have been anthologized in Best New Poets 2013 and Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems.