Bottle slung against my parched lips,
deep-throated swallow, there’s a hollow
space behind my blood-shot vision.
I’m on my knees, worshipping
a toilet where my liquid guts
get flushed like yesterday
or last month. I can’t remember.
In the hallway, I stumble, fall hard
knock my teeth against floorboards.
My naked legs splayed, my naked arms splayed,
my belly wrenches and heaves spit.
Even the gods have abandoned me
lost among the half-thoughts, littering my brain.
How to unfurl this aching fist, how to quit
punching the brick-face of this tomb.
The lid closes like my eyes,
slides slowly shut, light receding
to a single slit, then darkness.
The gods say we are powerless to the pull,
the wet undertow that churns
the brown, brackish sea where open-mouthed
we gulp and swallow and gulp and swallow
until we are spat out with seaweed
and other drowned things.
A storm breaks upon my face.
Remorse is wet
and I am soaked in it.
Later, I will sleep it off again,
and wake to the liquid pull and drift,
shelled shard of a bottle
poised against my wrist.
© Ami Mattison