Leaving The Heretic for an after-party

at Masquerade, the two of us still


wanting and awake in that city where

those who legislate such things forbid


the sale of liquor at this hour. Thus

the crush of shirtless flesh sways


numb within the pulse and surge,

forming and unforming


in circles. We separate,

each searching for something


long gone. I ask someone

at the door if we can go out


and come back in. Moonless

and starred, the night


nearly over. One of us—the one

no longer here—begins to sing


“How Soon is Now?”

You shut your mouth—


Wayne Johns received the Rane Arroyo prize for his chapbook, The Exclusion Zone, forthcoming from Seven Kitchens Press in Winter 2018. His first collection, Antipsalms, received the Editor's Choice prize from Unicorn Press and is forthcoming in Fall 2018. His poems have appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, Image, Prairie Schooner, and Best New Poets, among others.