John Grey


I have a distinct memory
of chugging down
cheap booze
in the barn
surrounded by
a few friends.
A soon-to-be suicide
gets a hard-on
from what drunkenness
can make him think.
One who survives
to this day
rants on and on
like a candidate
for something.
Another has one
hand on the bottle
and the other on
his forehead,
as if having a vision
of what will be left
to think with
when he loses his mind.
A couple of us
are cajoling the kid
who's reluctant
to even sip the stuff
into taking one
good swallow.
The rain is pelting
down by this time.
The rain on the
barn roof
sounds like
my father's racing heart
if he only knew.

Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Occupation: Computer Programmer
Publications: Pedestal, South Carolina Review, Wisconsin Review, Cape Rock, Poet Lore, Chiron Review, Louisiana Review, Colere, Hawaii Pacific Review

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