Jul 07

Song From a Slowly Sinking Ship

…and when she’s gone,
door clicking shut
behind her,
I crawl into the
bathroom to hover
over the sink and puke
(a strange new daily ritual),
then stop and stare
into that pale portrait
that is my ghostly reflection
painted dead center
onto the mirror’s frame.
I study every line,
every grey hair,
every crimson trench
carved deep into the
far corners of yellowy,
hangover eyes.
Every matted patch
of three day beard
leading back to
the lips chapped
from bottle’s kiss,
and I begin to think:
“I either need a cigarette
or a shotgun,
anything to get the
job done,”
something to smolder
near my deadened
fingers long after
it’s over.
I choose the former
over the latter
(for now),
slipping into a jacket
to face the autumn air
as I fetch a final smoke
from its inner pocket.
I stare into space
for an eternity
in smoky silence
and slowly recall
her only words
spoken the night
before as she
slid closer:
“I brought some
beer but I have
to work tomorrow.
I hope you don’t
mind drinking alone.”

–Ted Jackins