The Devil I Know

by Stevie Edwards

It’s 4:30 PM in Ithaca on a Saturday,
nearly Christmas, and all through the apartment
the dense stench of a bender heaved
until dry, until I swear to God there’s nothing
left inside me, until blood—
a gory pool drooled on the fitted sheet,
on the Michael Kors blouse I never took off,
the floral comforter, more on the floor.
Time to play detective again.
I’m suspect. A text message from my poker buddy:
Your keys are in your purse by the couch.
Text me to say you’re still kicking.
Cat’s get nine lives. How many
for drunk bitches who never eat dinner?
I gulp applesauce straight from the jar
to gentle the night’s damage. Strip the bed,
pull a sleeping bag over the bare mattress.
On TV “The Walking Dead” are zombies.
I fall over in the shower. I am living
my uncle’s death march. When his mistress found him,
his fire liver burned out, a bloodbath for one
retched across his second bankruptcy home,
did she feel relieved? I can sing hello coffin
to the full-length mirror and write a grant proposal
for spring. Multitasking is the new norm.
The sun’s already quit today. What is a darkness
and what is a black hole? What is a cousin
and what is a pallbearer? Some questions are stupid.
I’ve got pickles that’ll outlast this lease.
I’ve got a half-dozen presents under someone’s tree.

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