Swallow

Old grief gurgling in the drain
is threatening to back up if we don’t dump
something carcinogenic on it
some tequila
is mocking us
to kill three birds
with one old fashioned rock
or an ounce for every year since
the heart attack and the overdose and the malignant bit of body
that taught me how grief can clog up your arteries
without the right ammount of emollient
fifteen years is a little under a pint of gold ale
for the ailment is not exactly
whatever
grief is whatever you don’t want it to be
it takes that whiskey neat and wails in the street
the whole walk home
it turns short drives into circling past grave sites
trying to find the conviction to go walk it alone another year
every year
the privy gets a little noisy at night around the time
the neighbors floor boards somehow now
sound like a new roommate has come
to dance a 3 AM bespoken wake up call ensemble
everything seems to be screaming
for a solvent to swallow
and break away whatever words are left
mushy and mangled in a guilty gullet
it was third grade
when my best friend kissed my other friend
and they both begged me not to tell
and now one of them is dead
I tell everyone
how wonderful they all were.
I don’t know who’s still listening to these funeral songs
but Ave Maria has nothing on the pipes,
my heart, that baby can sing.

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