The year 1979 starts like any other, as far as I know.
When did grown people begin standing in frigid air
drunk, sizing up the crowd for someone to kiss
passionately? The way only two drunk strangers can.
I was very drunk, a beautiful man stood next to me
as the countdown began. At 7 – I moved close to him,
4 – I touched the back of his hand, 2 – he stood perfectly still,
Above us the flashing flare of strobe lights,
in my chest the baseline of the music felt like a new heartbeat.
What I remember is feeling like a castaway, found at last.
We stood there, in the middle of New Year’s mayhem.
I held his face in my hands wanting to be sober,
so badly wanting to be sober enough to believe what
I was feeling. All I know is his name, Sam.
News Years is a very quiet night in our house. But at midnight
Chris opens champagne, we toast out with the old, in with the new.
Somewhere around the fourth glass Chris usually falls asleep.
Some years that’s all I need, other years maybe a few more,
but somewhere in the night, I say his name “Sam.”
Then I hoist Chris off the couch and steadying each other on the steps,
we say “happy new year” and kiss. When it works out I am right on
the razor’s edge between drunk and sober, the perfect place to know just how I feel
and be certain I can believe it.