The Bottom

Denise Duhamel

 
I stopped drinking on my way down the hill
to the liquor store when two guys pulled up
and tried to drag me into their pickup. I crossed the street
then ran in the opposite direction, puffing
against the incline. The stranger thrust into reverse
and, when I wouldn't talk to him,
threw a bag of McDonald’s trash at me,
Stuck up bitch. I stopped drinking
when I realized I was fighting
for the vodka at the bottom of the hill
more than I was fighting against the terrible
things that could have happened to me
inside the cab of that rusty Chevy. I stopped drinking
before cell phones. I stopped drinking
after Days of Wine and Roses. I stopped drinking
even as I kept walking to El Prado Spirits
and the guy behind the counter who recognized me
asked if I was alright. I didn't tell him
what had happened because he might have called
the police and then I would have had to wait
for them to arrive to fill out a report, delaying my Smirnoff.  
I stopped drinking even before I had that last sip,
as I ran back up the hill squeezing a bottle by its neck.  
 
Copyright © 2011 by Denise Duhamel. Used with permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

Buddhist Barbie by Denise Duhamel
In the 5th century B.C.
Buying Stock by Denise Duhamel
I know you won't mind if I ask you to put this on.
Delta Flight 659 by Denise Duhamel
I'm writing this on a plane, Sean Penn
Exquisite Candidate by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton
I can promise you this: food in the White House
Exquisite Politics by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton
The perfect voter has a smile but no eyes
Kinky by Denise Duhamel
They decide to exchange heads.
Lawless Pantoum by Denise Duhamel
Men are legally allowed to have sex with animals
Permanence by Denise Duhamel
The barista at the coffee shop is covered in tattoos. She says there are only two
Sex with a Famous Poet by Denise Duhamel
I had sex with a famous poet last night
The Threat by Denise Duhamel
my mother pushed my sister out of the apartment door with an empty
Yes by Denise Duhamel
According to Culture Shock:


Further Reading

Poems about Drinking
"To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage"
by Robert Lowell
Driving and Drinking [North to Parowan Gap]
by David Lee
A Drinking Song
by W. B. Yeats
A Glass of Beer
by James Stephens
At the Blue Note
by Pablo Medina
Be Drunk
by Charles Baudelaire
California Plush
by Frank Bidart
Compulsively Allergic to the Truth
by Jeffrey McDaniel
Dangerous for Girls
by Connie Voisine
Days of Me
by Stuart Dischell
Deer Dancer
by Joy Harjo
Deer Hit
by Jon Loomis
Fallen Apples
by Tom Hansen
Father Listens to the Artists
by David Petruzelli
Homecoming
by Robert Lowell
I Love the Hour Just Before
by Todd Boss
I taste a liquor never brewed (214)
by Emily Dickinson
In Knowledge of Young Boys
by Toi Derricotte
In Vino Veritas
by Howard Altmann
Jet
by Tony Hoagland
Joey Awake Now
by Glyn Maxwell
Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Michael's Wine
by Sandra Alcosser
My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke
Nights
by Harvey Shapiro
On 52nd Street
by Philip Levine
Parties: A Hymn of Hate
by Dorothy Parker
Picking Up
by Evelyn Duncan
Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey
by Hayden Carruth
Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump
by David Bottoms
The Drunken Fisherman
by Robert Lowell
The Eternal City
by Jim Simmerman
The Silence
by Philip Schultz
the suicide kid
by Charles Bukowski
The Summer House
by Tony Connor
Vodka
by Joel Brouwer
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman
Wine Tasting
by Kim Addonizio