Jess and Dean’s Birthday Party—2011.

I distinctly remember myself being at this party.
Admiring the jewels beneath your breasts.

I took pictures, which, I see, were deleted.
Of Jessica and Dean dancing

Salsa. Of Maria mixing rum with oranges. I remember being
Happy. My arm sat on your waist. (Now there’s a perfectly

Candid shot). I distinctly remember: the small of your back,
The way you arched in the dark. I remember us being

“Us” at this party, people throwing smiles at me, like confetti.
The taste of cake (I can’t remember what kind),

Your wine-stained lips. They’re all missing now.
From the album, that is. Did you forget to add them?

My fingers running through your red hair, the breath
Of your lips near mine on the balcony where you asked

If everything was all right. I always said yes. Or fine. Or nothing
Is the matter. It was, after all, a party. And Laura pulled us inside

Where we discussed our first kiss (though not ours),
Jennifer Cruisie novels, which I know nothing about,

Expect that Jennifer is the name of my sister, who I never see,
And where, with my arm over your shoulder,

I told you I loved you. Mementos stored away, filed, categorized:
Jess and Dean’s Birthday Party—2011.

I distinctly remember being at this party.




About the Author
Jonathan Callies: As a recent graduate of UCLA's English literature program and a graduate student in English at the University of Chicago, Jonathan Callies spends most of his time pleasantly drowning in books and open word documents. His work as appeared previously in UCLA's literary journal, "Westwind."