brotherhood of booze

Elle Nash

pussy is the price of company
they circle in and want to know
if you’ll sell it all for
just a piece of normal

a moment of silence for the loneliness
that dies when they come around

i watched a man give up
everything for an illusion
i watched him crawl back
and taste the crusted carpet blood
where the knees dragged

mamma never taught her to say no
so all she ever said was yes

a brotherhood of booze
where the glasses clink and crack
where my teeth don’t shine
when i bare them against stranger skin
the brotherhood where memory
is just a dream
and the dream slips through
between cracks
dust behind the couch

i’ll forget
and play this game over again
demeaning and underhanded eyes are
dropped on the tabletop as an offer
the struggle to say no
becomes a wish to disappear

pussy is the price of payback
landscaped cirrhosis
marbled temples of ice
muddied faces
left-handed hooks
dry eyes on a fuzzy morning
no will to move
the panoramic sideways view
of angles you don’t recognize

irradiation game
teeth crashing down
wisdom pours like gold
from each broken molar
and inside this suit
the caustic plaque

you will rot out of me

Elle Nash is the author of the novel Animals Eat Each Other. She is a founding editor of Witch Craft Magazine and a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp.