after midnight
and too much tequila
booted from
the Bar Tropicana
my nose feels broke
taxis ain’t running
means a long stagger back
down siling rain-swept alleyways
I kicked the door open
the clock crashed from the wall
to the kitchen floor
I propped it half-cock against
the ‘World’s Best Dad’ cup
I stole for the kids to award to me –
so many years ago
the clock shows around two
but it’s probably slow as the sun is rising. 
and while the day unwinds its eyes
mine are heavy-lidded
closing fast
blood reddens my shirt
dripping from my busted nose
there’s a lump at the back of my head.
from one more hurt
I never felt
I swill a mug
fill it with bootleg rye
the table needs clearing
I sweep off mouse droppings,
stale bread and cheese crumbs,
toenail clippings
they tumble,  diamond snowflakes
shimmering in the sun’s rays
to the threadbare carpet floor
my head is running low and slow
I’m wrestling thoughts of god or gods.
and life and death
and what I should and shouldn’t do
where I don’t or do belong
what to say and does it matter anyway?
I thought I’d pray but it came out wrong,
“goddamn you, god!
why won’t you give me a sign?
what did I ever do to offend you?”
and my mug drains of rye
and the mug fills again
and the sun stands tall
and the light hurts my eyes
and I roll a fag from ashtray butts
and light it from the stove
and the smoke buzz swirls my brain
and the walls melt
and the room dances
and the chair rocks
and the table dances
and the clock ticks
and the sun dances
and dazzles my eyes
and I… slowly… 
draw back from the light
hours passed or minutes
I wake, sprawled on the table
my top set’s dropped out in sleep
plastic teeth, tobacco-stained
puddled in blood and drool
the landing toilet is blocked
it stinks
I shift plates to the side of the sink
and pee
and lean over cups
upchucking my guts
and cough and retch
and cuff my mouth dry
and, beneath the sink, reach
for the next to last bottle
of what might be rye
stored for emergencies
next to bottles of bleach,
the clock shows two-ish
it’s probably fast.

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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