An early draft of a new piece:
WHEN WE DRINK
bravado, be damned. the gut knows.
every pull at each chin-slugged bottle
betrays one cold fact: this – each – florid
new drunkenness just half-gessoed
shame, memory’s transverse fracture all
quick-set and sloppily primed. denial
a sour liquid – the sweaty rivulets tracking
some prize-fighter’s poor browridge
down through the hardscrabble scruff
struggling for purchase on the sudden
delta of what once was a jawline.
the beers’ hand-mottled transluscence
a rhetorical gauze wound loosely round
some untoward episode’s slick, feral
injury: one nipple’s incisor-drawn blood,
the hot meaty brushstroke a tongue
tide-lines on thigh, your cock’s general
thrumming at all the dark newness ripe
to be plumbed.
drink up, say the boys –
forearms tacky with a splay-spilled
interest in just what you’ve been up to,
all damming machismo; each leaning
lurid, cementing the act of convincing
themselves it’s half utter bullshit, half
not nearly the truth. no matter, it seems.
everything’s cresting the lock of your throat.
and spilt beer’s surely a close cousin
to bile, you try not to think; the thick,
wet scent of it rising to breach the unsteady
wake of your damned conscience. tomorrow?
two more, you well know, on the way. two