Sobriety: Day One By Marley Stuart

Sobriety: Day One

I didn’t have a drink last night,
partly because I’m trying to quit,
partly because we’re out. For a week
I weaned myself off whiskey with wine,
tipping up the jug two nights
back for the last sip.

On our front porch, we’re growing succulents.
This is a new thing for us: we were, for the longest
time, opposed to plants that had no use
in cooking. If you can’t eat it, what’s the point?
Or maybe that was just me and not her.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell ourselves apart.

My wife doesn’t drink. She can have one glass
of wine at the bar and call it done.
I can never have enough—I’ll drink
all night and not get drunk.
One glass of wine puts me to sleep.
It’s good medicine, that way.

This morning, I check the plants in their new cells.
Succulents sprout babies, and we’ve transplanted them.
Already, it seems, they’re growing. It’s the tiniest thing,
the tiniest leaves that weren’t there before.
But it’s something.
It’s really something.

By Marley Stuart


Marley Stuart is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Xavier Review, L’Éphémère Review, and About Place. He lives in New Orleans with his wife.

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