By Kim Addonizio

Do you sometimes drink alone?
Have you ever woken up the next morning
after a night of heavy drinking?
Does your cat wander through the house
meowing inconsolably,
despite having fresh food and water?
Hunger, thirst, friendship, love.
Green Bee, Russian Quaalude, Redheaded Slut:
IEDs on the supply route to pleasure.
There’s a gala in your hypothalamus,
helium balloons rising to the rafters,
the fizzy ricochet of laughter.
There’s a stumblebum in your cerebellum.
That empty feeling crawling toward you—
should you kill it with a wadded paper towel
or trap it in a jar and shake it out
and send it flying into the grass?
Is your head full of frozen tamales
and a vodka bottle curled on its side?
How do you get through the interminable evenings?
Are they really interminable?
Have you considered the alternative?
Now get out of your car,
stand by the side of the road
and take a step. Now recite
The Waste Land, backwards,
beginning with that sexy Sanskrit word.

Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, two books on writing poetry, and a memoir. Her latest book of poems, Now We’re Getting Somewhere, was published by W.W. Norton in 2021.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s