all the beautiful people the cool NY people the melting pot personified the poets in the bookshop sipping freshly brewed black coffee cracking tall cans of Miller milling about in quiet anticipation to hear lines lifted from online chats to hear lines about, dogs, death, and moms to hear with straining ears thru choking heat they drift outside for brief respite the sky colored city orange in september haze they drift inside to hear another young woman in her large love red blazer high above the crowd like someone emboldened by a secret everyone in love she bequeathed the stage to the final reader our hostess dressed plainly radiating bolder only the sheets of paper in her hands have nerves she reads three poems, the last a question: “will you marry me?” shock, ecstasy, he kisses her with golden hollywood passion shocked, ecstatic, a dozen balloons tangle themselves in the ceiling. outside it’s cooler sobbing has ceased gentle falling rain cool cool night everyone in love.