YOUR BODY MADE HEAVY WITH GIN

JERICHO BROWN

I can relax. I smell liquor on your breath.
Soon your arms will be too heavy to lift,
And I’ll watch the weight of you
Shiver while you sleep. But first
I want to see that stagger—
Like a boy sent off to battle, shot,
Then sent back. I kept one once.
He’d never get a good doze. Only quake
And dream of hands aimed at his throat.
He’d cough and gag. I’d shake him awake.
He was as you are. he could have died
In my bed. He could have never stopped
Dreaming. He’d take me
For the enemy. We’d fight.
But you and I won’t fight tonight.
I’ll remember some limping lover and talk
All I want about war. Or maybe
I won’t. Maybe I don’t care
Who survives—I only need to watch your body
Made heavy with gin as I hold you up
From your fall at the threshold
Because I love you and I love you best
With liquor on your breath
When I can get a good look at you
Just the way I found you, reeking
And too drunk to go after the roaches
With the heel of your hand. And too drunk
To take me for one of the roaches.

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