Aperitifs

Memento Mori

Apéritifs: In the months leading up to the release of our book “A Single Throat Opens,” a collaborative lyric exploration of addiction, Meghan McClure and I will be compiling a playlist pairing songs with new writing to be enjoyed before the main course. Cheers, friends.

Misery is only one side of the story, and your story has a thousand sides worth examining. I’m sorry I didn’t study each of the faces you showed me when I was young. Your life is equal parts ocean and alcohol. Yet, I focused on the label wrapped around the bottle and didn’t think of the beauty of the curved, amber glass, the circular lip. I didn’t bother to taste the salt and sweat of your labor. I stood too often on the shore and waved as if I was the only one to experience farewells.

When your mother died you wrote poems. I’m the stupid boy who writes poems while everyone he loves is still alive. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. When you leave, I promise to write you a better silence.

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Twilight

Apéritifs: In the months leading up to the release of our book “A Single Throat Opens,” a collaborative lyric exploration of addiction, Meghan McClure and I will be compiling a playlist pairing songs with new writing to be enjoyed before the main course. Cheers, friends.

The way he sings the opening lines (Haven’t laughed this hard in a long time I better stop now before I start crying) convinces no one of laughter. Some of us prioritize despair. We hear the heart rending itself and call it music.

When you left I wrote you slant on every page. I sing off key and often: your name. I drank my thoughts quiet but my heart continued its frenzy. There is no quelling the core of who we are. We either bear the beat, or we burst.

Touch me; I’m full. I am an impossibly small grape whose body contains every glass of wine. Yours is the mouth that broke my skin and drank from me everything. Still, dry as I am, I have created the most magnificent life. I find joy like a dragonfly hovering nearby, always. I am profoundly, unexpectedly happy. When I think of you it’s only in the dark. It’s been so long; you’ve missed so much. I want to share every detail but I better stop now before I start—

Do You Feel It

Apéritifs: In the months leading up to the release of our book “A Single Throat Opens,” a collaborative lyric exploration of addiction, Meghan McClure and I will be compiling a playlist pairing songs with new writing to be enjoyed before the main course. Cheers, friends.

When we speak of rock bottom we speak of the climb back up. We don’t speak of how broken and bent we become upon impact.

Remember what you wrote me? (“I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to you.”) Knowing how it began, knowing how it ended, I hesitate to say I wouldn’t go back there again. Isn’t that one of the criteria for addiction? A willful undoing.

I gave my life to you as soon as I saw you, and I feel a certain pleasure in sacrificing it to you. A thousand times a day my sighs go out to you, seeking you everywhere…

Do you feel it? Wherever you are, still I sigh.