Arriel Vinson

We lined up our bottles on the black TV stand,

displayed empty what was once brown,

insides sap sticky.

Everyone who came through

our dented door envied

our trophies.

We said to our friends,

yours ain’t got nothing on ours

meaning we know how to drown

better than you, can sink our misery

and challenge it to buoy,

dare our throats to stay afloat.

Our collection gone be filled up

by the end of the week,

we bragged, thought being the first

of our families

justified our wreckage.

Just so they wouldn’t be able to damage us.

Every time we gulped the last

of a drink, we’d arrange our bottles

according to height,

without saying how difficult

this life was, without saying how easy

it was to make the body

an anchor.


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