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Elegy For My Drunken Nights

by Ben Mitchell

They were precious, those elongated hours, the warmth
overflowing with a certain thickness, honey

spilling from a clay bowl - the slow roll
across a soft blonde plain of sawdust. As if 

this dark fist at the center of my chest could release
for even an hour. I drop my shoulders

turn my stretched face upward – squinting in the glare 
of the darkness.. Sure

the gray labrador, long abandoned
by the expectant boy grown numb, still waits 

at the corner, slowly pounding the light post 
with a gray tail. But that’s just the thing, right?

pursued by relentless consequence, I come again
to the dawn -  breaking - a coarse highway 

baked over the brushed heather,
the dried grain dangling

in the last heat of summer. It’s good 
to release oneself of everything for a time. but then

the whisky is gone, the rum wears off, and I
am as I was – broken

and unsure how to move  – as if
I’ve forgotten how to work my arms.

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