we can hear her laugh crackling down the hall
long before she busts through the door,
leopard-print shirt drizzling from those bony elbows,
eyes shiny with delight and long swoops of electric blue eyeliner.
the energy in the room is measurably higher
joules bouncing off chairs and tables and v-necks and strappy sandals
decibels tilting up and up and up
all of us burning more calories as we
turn it up
turn it on
take our turn romping around in the light she gives off.
happy to see everyone
taking each face in separately, distinctly, uniquely
in its own time.
it's clear that now
the pesto tastes snappier
the mojitos smell mintier
and even jack seems funnier.
her smile is radiant as she listens to a story about a groundhog
leaning her small square hips against the wall
and nodding along with the teller of the tale.
she has no idea that she is the life of the party.