by James Croal Jackson
I really want to drink today.The sun is shining. It’s warmer than usual.I should try to ween myself off, right? None of this cold turkey shit.I haven’t drank a drink this year, the miracle of it. Today, I am alone. I scrubbed white the kitchen tiles, but there are always dirt stains, smudges when you looka little harder. Sanitized the kitchen table with towels,swept its crumbs from the floor. The cat sprints from one end of the room to the other over and over, imaginary laps. What every day is, these days,running a relay race, handingthe baton to tomorrow’s me with the trust I won’t– today, it’s a sleep’s worth heavier than yesterday.Long minutes the placemarks I passI can’t make time go faster. It is my dayoff work, and in its nothingness I trudgethrough sludge. Old habit,you don’t die hard becauseyou’re not dying. You’reas alive as me: refreshed yet craving,gazing through the window to the light-stained street, the shadows cast from trees.