“The Perks of Listening” by Michael Patrick McSweeney

To understand the movements of this party, to know
why lovers switch hands like loose change,
why broken eyes linger across the room,
why a torn-open box of wine reminds you of a screaming mouth,
why so many fingers rush to scrape the wrinkles out of jeans
until their owners resign to clutch their empty phones,
to wait for text to stop their lips from shaking...
to know why you must listen.
Listen to the thunder of drunken arms,
the light rain phrases left behind.
Listen while shouting as you pour
out a punched-in door,
lighting a cute girl's smoke,
leaving to wander the streets in a crowd.
Do this
and you will hear
goodbyes echo all around you
as they linger on the grass behind you,
their voices spread like shattered glass,
and perhaps you will figure out this mad flood
as both sorrow and joy fade into the evening noise...

Michael Patrick McSweeney is an artist and educator from the Boston region. His work has appeared in numerous journals and various regions of the Internet thanks to truly wonderful individuals. He is also the founder and chief financial officer of a used submarine conglomerate, the business website of which can be found at discountsubmarines.wordpress.com, and he hopes you have a great day.