It’s just a Party

by Camilla Jean Welsch

I zip my dress to the neck,
and smooth the fabric down,
which looks expensive yet, for polyester that cost me $19.99.

Now add the eyeliner, mascara, and a pale, creamy foundation…
Am I overdone?
I skip lipstick.

I imagine myself standing in the setting sun,
the heels of my good pumps on a stony patio,
trying not to step in the gravelly cracks in between stones.

And looking up into the face of a man,
I am squinting into the light,
being polite,
both our faces shiny as we melt from the sun.
And we smile and laugh,
while holding drinks carefully,
and balance in our other hands small tilted plates
with rolling grapes, sliding crackers, and sticking cheese.

I try to say the right things, 
be the right person,
find the right person,
be better than I was before,
start over once more,
and finally just be beautiful,
permeated by my chosen scent of dolce floral.
Will I be overdone?

Oh, come on now.
It’s just a party.
It’s never how I think it will be.
It’s only my expectations and imaginings
that are too much for me.

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