Submitted Date 04/18/2019

I met you after the bottle had been put down

Before my body knew the seasons too well

The way it used to change through them through empty guzzled bottles or turned down drinks. One moment a dry Summer, then Spring, carrying dew drops of whiskey on my skin through afternoon walks and early morning sunrises

and then the Winter storm would come out of nowhere, the longest season of them all

thinking the rain would fill up empty bottles, or cleanse them of something more pure

holding onto every storm cloud that might pass to reveal another dry summer that my body was not ready for

until it was

I met you when every drop tasted like something I would never want again

Until your love for drunken everydays seeped back into my life to show me again how much I had given up

your slightly crooked smile was an uncanny resemblance of the feeling it felt to fall in love with you; as if I was shrunken small to slide down the sides of your mouth, my stomach flipping slowly as I'd make it to the corner drop

I did not care if the drop was so far down the tower that you were

when I discovered how similar it felt to the feeling of dropping into the familiar blur of drunkenness and confusion I only loved it more

I only loved you more

when I met you, your eyes looked so much like whiskey dew drops that I had to make sure not to mistake you for something I once could not put down or stop thinking about

but the first time we kissed, my mouth was tainted with vodka and beer and I woke up with only a faint memory of it being a dream

it felt like any other drunken night alone

each kissed blurred into the other and they all became the first, every memory forming into a cluster of questions on questions, but I thought it was a beautiful mess we had created

but each cluster of drunken memory was the same reminder of the impossibility of us

every time you slid back into my life I would think you were cracks of sunlight through the pried open doors of my broken house for you to sit atop my skin, but it was only whiskey waves that I would need to slip back into when the next round of losing you again crept upon me, every time like it was the first, again, and again

every time a reminder of the same impossibility of us

every time a question if us was ever something that began

I was too naïve to think that every time we drank together you wouldn't forget us, but you'd forget her

the girl you'd go home to after telling me how happy I made you

every word you said made me feel like the antidote while we both slid down together, hand in hand, back into the darkness that never truly ends

there is no happiness at the end of the tunnel of sharing the same demons

we mixed up the thoughts of something new and fresh with the same addictions that tore every seam of ourselves apart

I could never harbor the feeling of home for you

the same way you could never make me feel safe no matter how much I said it

it was just us, sharing familiar darkness that we cradled between our teeth and tongues through every sip I thought I finally found it but I was only digging up the addiction that I had buried for so long I mistook it for you or love or something safe and something that felt right

something that finally felt right

our love was like the shot glass on fire across the table

with the eager onlookers and through the corners of the rooms

wondering if one tilt from our drunken stumbles will tip one slowly to burn it all down

but we were only laughing because how could we know

I'd fall asleep in your arms tucked in by the eyebags from the sleepless nights of tequila and all the others you harbored alone that kept you awake at night drinking

I don't know how to wash you out of my mouth or put you down

I don't know if there is a stomach pump for the amount of you that you poured into my life

Despite every memory of us remembered in a blur I can't seem to get drunk enough to fully forget anymore

I tell my friends about you in increments that they don't even understand

like mapping out a drunken night story to the people around you who only look back confused and scared, wondering if this is good for you, wondering if you're ok or if you even understand what is going on

and I never did

and I still don't

I just remember how good it felt to be in your arms and I can't pull that feeling apart from if it really was or if I was just drunk on feelings and booze and something unknown that I still can't explain

That thing at the tip of my tongue, trying to pry its way out into words and all there is is the stale taste of remnants and regret and some kind of pull of wanting it more

And I don't know why

I can't explain why I still want you back into my life

When all you gave me was confusion and hurt

And I can't explain why I still want to drink alone

When I know how much it ruined my life

I don't know why I wanted you so badly to ruin it instead

Maybe you were a rebound for my addiction

Maybe you felt the same about me

All I know is that when I pick up the bottle now all I think about is you and I already know it's no cure to make you disappear

Because whatever we shared was stronger than the thing that numbed me most

Maybe you helped me put the bottle down again

Maybe I never will

Knowing that I was never someone more to you

I was just the shot of tequila

To keep you warm throughout the night

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