I WAS DRUNK WHEN I WROTE THIS By Ari Eastman

I WAS DRUNK WHEN I WROTE THIS

so this is the poem where I say I think
I drink too much
where I say

you’ll meet me at the bar on Magnolia and see how quickly my cheeks flush

that everyone else can drink
more

so there’s no way
I could have a problem, I must be overreacting,

must be in my head

I’m not a social drinker, I say

to no one

I say in my head
but force it out
with the last glass of wine

You’re right.
I do not pound shots
or wake up in foreign beds
or any other Hollywood way
we’ve decided to paint addiction

so this is the poem where I ask,
what does it mean if it’s in my bedroom?

Me and a bottle,
and I don’t make mistakes
and I don’t wreck cars
and I don’t say things
I wouldn’t say
sober

But this world doesn’t feel okay
unless I’ve got something
in my system

it doesn’t feel good
to be alone without

a numbing agent

I make a joke about not being an alcoholic
and my friend chuckles,
“Not yet.”

and she laughs,
and I taste my grandfather’s stomach bile, how liquor tore through his body
until it was crumpled on the floor, something for my mom
to find,
a belated birthday gift.

is that not something to be concerned about?

is that not something
to announce
in a room?

By Ari Eastman

Biography:

Ari Eastman is a spoken word poet, writer, and mental health activist. Her work has been featured in Thought Catalog, The Rising Phoenix Review, and Words Dance Publishing. She is also the author of two other collections of poetry with a third one coming out fall 2016. She currently resides in California and enjoys crying to old Buffy The Vampire Slayer episodes.

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