After the Ball


Listen: The city’s screams are starting to die down now. All those roaring engines have done what they needed to do: dropped the daughters at the houses of friends and the busloads of boys five minutes from the bar. Even the trains have mostly settled in their stations for the night; the tracks are cooling off from their heated rush to deliver women to their sisters with flowers wrapped in tissue paper and cakes in paper boxes, or lovers to the arms and the beds that they’ve been too busy to lie in for weeks now. The noise has disappeared behind closed doors of clubs, trapped in the rooms of houses where windows have been shut when the chill set in, and soon it will rain.

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