Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The Bottom

I stopped drinking on my way down the hill
to the liquor store when two guys pulled up
and tried to drag me into their pickup. I crossed the street
then ran in the opposite direction, puffing
against the incline. The stranger thrust into reverse
and, when I wouldn't talk to him,
threw a bag of McDonald’s trash at me,
Stuck up bitch. I stopped drinking
when I realized I was fighting
for the vodka at the bottom of the hill
more than I was fighting against the terrible
things that could have happened to me
inside the cab of that rusty Chevy. I stopped drinking
before cell phones. I stopped drinking
after Days of Wine and Roses. I stopped drinking
even as I kept walking to El Prado Spirits
and the guy behind the counter who recognized me
asked if I was alright. I didn't tell him
what had happened because he might have called
the police and then I would have had to wait
for them to arrive to fill out a report, delaying my Smirnoff.
I stopped drinking even before I had that last sip,
as I ran back up the hill squeezing a bottle by its neck.

-Denise Duhamel

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