My friend Gabbi texted telling me where to park
my car where it wouldn’t be towed, behind Darkhorse,
saying we could skip formal pregame drinks
for chicken nuggets so we wouldn’t be day-drinking
on empty stomachs in the cold. I don’t even know the headliner,
she said, to which I spoke the chorus to “Blue Monday”
to which she nodded in recognition. I’d want to see that, Gabbi said,
and the first thing we did was hit the press lounge
for free drinks. I had spent the summer
turning google docs into invoices, flying on a plane
for the first time, speaking to peers I considered mentors
who asked me what it was like “living down there”
in tree-lined shadows of a press tent,
bartering yellow wristbands for entry into every party
that left me literally biting my tongue
so I could stay awake
on the train ride back to Humboldt Park.
I watched Sicko Mobb
perform in front of shelf clouds
“this is my life now” as I texted my availability
to hang.
Winter in Houston is an ice cube on a plate.
New Year’s Eve function at the house on Telephone—
I lived at home so I would show up to parties with Ciroc.
—Someone brought Ciroc—
The most action the living room saw
occurred when I pressed the spacebar on the “Bank Rolls” remix
to a group grinding on each other in front of another group who sat splayed
on the couch. The floor was sinking so water collected in one corner of the tub
which soon filled with urine
and the host told me the music was too loud, bending
my ear in violence I could not predict, and Gabbi
texted me at midnight, saying thanks for the invite and happy new year
but my momma doesn’t stay up and to be honest I don’t care to either but see you at work

- Matthew Ramirez