Bodies are arriving from all over, throwing their coats
on my bed, and pouring themselves my wine.

“Welcome to the Optimism,” I have written
with limes across the lintel—the name

I gave this place when the grocer ran out
of those oranges I adore. One arriving, deer-eyed

body says to me, “The fogs of whim may be delicious,
and the dishonest, honestly, has a fine ferment

when scraped on a cracker.” My foot is currently asleep,
and I want desperately to uncrimp my blood,

but “full swing!” says one debutante body
to another as the interaction ceremonies hit

their stride, shaking our masks in the armoire.
The foretaste welling up in my mouth, the gentle

knocking against the back of my throat, the gesture
before I break. “I don’t have to tell you

how invasive species kill off the natives,”
says one burst-gut body to another, with a wink,

in the double entendre shadows, “but aren’t they
more abundant and invariably more beautiful?”