“Sober then Drunk Again” (Eric Pankey)

“Sober then Drunk Again”

On the lighting-struck pin oak,
On the swayed spine of the Blue Ridge,
a little gold leaf.

Once I drank with a vengeance.
Now I drink in surrender.
The thaw cannot keep me from wintering in.

I prepare for death when I should prepare
For tomorrow and the day after
and the day after that.

A clinker of grief where once hung my heart.

Memory—moon-drawn, tidal.
The moon’s celadon glaze dulls in the morning’s cold kiln.

–Eric Pankey
from The Cincinnati Review

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