Rebecca Foust

Cocktail Party

Cowed by all those straight white teeth,
Pilgrim ran for the bathroom, not for coke
as others supposed, but for something
more covert and rare: a book,
or any bit of anything written. An antidote
to the twitter Out There: the Times
or a Wall Street Journal stowed by the toilet,
the labels on the bottles of balms
ranked at the sink. She spent one dismal fete
with an issue of Your Bird Dog Today—
that taught her the value of purse-cubic-feet
and to bring her own stash—and in this way
she read ninety-nine Cantos, near tears
when she thanked her hostess, “Best party in years!”