my smile fades

from the smell of

unexpected onions

 

fourth shot of whiskey poised

in my left hand

 

you rise in my throat

bile and reflux

but you are nothing

if not consistent

 

molested by the memory

of you

endlessly comparing me

to that damned bottle

of bourbon

 

wild

free

stately noble bird

amber eyed Kentucky royalty

worthy of addiction

who will kick your ass

if you don’t mean it

not for beginners

or the faint of heart

yet somehow

reasonable

 

and to hell with you still

i say

you and your Custer decisions

 

when you make your last call

last stand

each night

succumbing to the same

faulty strategy

 

sulk in your warm bath and remember

you lost to the indians

all on your own

 

(slams her shot in a way only bartenders and the triumphant understand)