Ghosts by Patrick DeCarlo



Alcohol, I’m

Palming circles on dusty windows
To make out the haunted shadows
Rearranging my furniture. An ode
To the women buried beneath floorboards,
To the men tucked amongst hangers,
To the sandcrabs picking at toes
On passed-out malt soaked beaches
This is not.  You can’t find empathy
When the chess men in the park
Know nothing of the rot in your side,
When rosacea face worry of widows
And sunburn query of coworkers
Is the wintery death of gin blossoms.


Alcohol, you

Had trouble explaining
The potato stains from dinner.
You know you have a problem
When you rely on past glory’s repetition
Instead of regular meter and discovery.
Your poetic credentials
Look more like the twilight
Of some modernist’s gutter eulogies:
diamond ringed verse on every finger.


Alcohol, you’re

Going to point a finger at me, whore?
Put some polish on it!  If you’re going to recommend
Colonics, you do it first.  I take my vitamins
With a 5k in between the weight room.
I’ll sweat it out in sex.
Origami worked for awhile but now I’m arthritic.

And now, the lighting of the drinks.


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