When one is forced to stop drinking, the first thing felt is shame. It is recognition that coerced abstinence was inevitable. The court told me No alcohol and I said Okay. An assessor of the state told me If you picture life past 30, you stop now: he might have added For the longevity of both you and your relationship(s), but it might be his own history stopped him. The morning I crashed my car was not cold like today. Suburbs are generally quiet at four-thirty; runaways choke-chain drooping eyes to a bedpost for a few more fickle hours, hoping (praying) body keeps pace with hunger. I was hungry, and we went to get food. My brow beats ripples into the airbag. In county my sheltered white life was a blanket doused in gasoline. The sheltered white mind may scream but the sheltered white body cowers under concrete. In class I was assured Alcoholism runs in the family. The gene plagues Hendrix men as a curse of choice. It's a gun in a knife case. Six months sober; it still itches. I'm still hungry. The state told me I was Lucky [I] didn't **** someone. I was selfish. I was selfish because I thought they meant me.
This poem is inspired by Mary Hickman's second book, "Rayfish."