Garden Party

Our hosts had buried TVs all over the yard
& plugged them in. Screens hissed
their snow from the grass
as we drank draft beer from plastic cups.

They were like oracles, chthonic & obscure.
A young woman who appeared to be tripping
stopped short, stared & began to weep.
It’s not fighting, I said, trying to console.
It’s dancing.

It’s cosmic background radiation
& thermal noise
, she said without looking up.
Reality is beautiful, you know?

I crouched down for a closer look.
It was 1990. The news was full
of the end of the Cold War
& the Gulf War was still weeks away.
Here’s to reality, I said, raising
my disposable cup.

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