i kept this picture of a sugarcane farmer

to throw in a drawer – a reason for

this that another hers where’s matt’s oh go slow it’s in the cupholder in the back

and the other nervous coke bottle of rum over there.

i mean, they had every right to sweat;

i liked to burn things.

leaves, money. apologies to taylor swift,

but photos were a different story.

leatherface, we’ll call him, sagged on the clothesline

until finally he was this fluorescent square – some kind of

new door against the blueblack dull.

then this asshole cracks my spine by

something like a gun barrel and still warm against my back.

my “beer, bro,”

but i don’t drink anymore.

dick. i’m a pussy.

i’m lame. i can’t party, no,

i’m old, aren’t i. hook me up with

that IKEA gift card and now i’ll party

sitting in a circle doing a fucking cat puzzle,

but not until i learn the meaning of the word “crochet.”

stitching, i think.

i always thought it was ironic that

those who usually have the worst memories

spend the most time weaving things together.

you know, twenty

pounds ago, i killed a case of sam adams

in an hour. that was the day i woke up naked in your room,

and i guess we’d flipped all we could lift upside down.

i loved it. every time i drink i choke the neck of that bottle and thrust it high

like the shaft of god’s dick,

withered spit. and it gets all over the carpet.

“don’t call me lame, man.”

thirty pounds ago,

i went raccoon hunting with a butterfly net

and thirty turnovers butt naked,

but i also shoved my best friend into a wall so hard i broke every toe

in his foot and i also had my stomach pumped when i told myself that

ten times the tylenol would kill the pain for ten times the hours so dying

within the hour wouldn’t be so bad so don’t you fucking think of calling me a pussy.

look at my dad and tell him i’m weak

for walking back through that door,

the newest thing in the house,

a year later.

look at my mom and tell her i’m lame for choking

breathing through that laced up cotton slab

where she kept that towel tied around her arm

and that water slung around her waist.


the strongest i have ever felt was the day after the first drink i pushed away –

and the fifteen times in the morning one for every minute in the shower

and the eight times at work one for every new case of samuel

and the twelve times at night one for every extra pill.

you will not take this from us.

if you cock the shotgun,

you better be giving me the gun.

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