Riding the Bell Curve
When the alcohol kicks in and releases me from me,
How borderless am I.
With what endless arms my poor reach extends
To embrace earth and sky.
Fallen to childish grace, seeing kin in strangers,
I’m prey to every lie.
Given to unchecked praise, I certify as victor anyone
Who gives anything a try.
Compassion-soaked, for any grief recounted, false or true,
I am primed to cry.
With consequences blurred and senses dulled, for any cause,
I am anxious to die.
But when the toxin’s sway fades and the piercing pain
Gathers behind one eye,
And sorely abused guts convulse and complain, and
Set me to heaving dry,
Then, huddled in the john, so pasty-faced and cold,
Small and alone am I.
Templar Phoenix (Fall & Winter 2001); East Village Poetry (April 2002).