We Had a Blast

sounds like something a date says after a night
of red wine stains found splattered on a white sofa,
or waking up to beer bottles
set up like bowling pins on the coffee table,
a bra laid over a lampshade,
a trail of clothes leading up to the bedroom door.

We had a blast sounds like how a tunnel excavation team
would describe the efficiency of boring a freeway
through the side of a mountain;
how a musician might describe what each band member
did with the ceremonial flask that was passed
around before going on stage;
or how a homeowner would describe their old furnace.

Sadly, we had a blast also sounds like the kind of grim
report a commentator on the Nightly World News
might deliver on a late-breaking development
in Lebanon, Damascus, or Kiev,
with heart-breaking footage of rubble
that yesterday were buildings, and the tear-streaked faces of wailing men and women
carrying bloodied children through the streets.

As for me, we had a blast has more to do with meteorology;
the shock of cold air on this blustery late-winter dawn,
the annual white sheet pulled over summer’s frozen corpse,
how snow casts a blue glow in the low light of morning;
and the frosted, uneven mustache of icicles
hanging menacingly from my neighbor’s gutters.

Though I must admit that I’m in love
with the idea of we had a blast sounding
like something sweet an elderly man
might whisper to his wife at the end
of a long, rollercoaster life, privately in her ear,
with the time between each beat
of his now failing heart,
growing fainter, and further apart.

T.J. McGuire lives in Dayton, Ohio, with his wife and two daughters.