Published on Academy of American Poets (

After Party

The Hello Kitty piñata’s head
swings from the pepper tree—
a sweet decapitation. Glitter
across the rental table & pink
paper flowers wilt in the succulents.
This is the stale beer & cigarettes
of seven-year-olds. “My fluffy puppy
is so soft” still means “my fluffy
puppy is so soft.” I’m seducing
my wife the way good men
of my generation do, by rinsing
blue & red sticky plates & taking out
heavy cake trash. I’m celebrating
their lack of cool. No fights
over girls or boys to save face,
just face paint, just little
leopards everywhere.


Copyright © 2018 Noah Blaustein. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2018.


Noah Blaustein

Noah Blaustein received his MFA from the University of Massachusetts. He is the author of Flirt (University of New Mexico Press, 2013) and After Party, forthcoming from University of New Mexico Press in 2019. 

Date Published: 2018-07-01

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