When the bottle points in your direction
I lick my lips
anticipation pricking hips and thighs
quiet reprise to hasty handprints
and you rise
to your feet, eager
and unsteady
sweaty palms, dead giveaway
to virgin nervousness.
And we meet
nose to nose
and toe the line
before the dream stops.

I wake
to view the body
of a middle-aged man
who snores with abandonment -
who drinks the same way.
And I fuck like he drinks
but I don't feel terrible
in the morning.
I'll leave
before he joins
the living.

He won't remember me.

You
are the only one
who does.

When you ask why
I don't come
why
I refuse
to leave with you
why
I will not sleep beside you
why
I will not point
to you.

This is the truth:

the bottle always spins
in your direction. I lock my lips
when I realize
I love you
too much
to rub two addictions together
just to see what sparks.
I know
what smolders
already.

You
are a molotov cocktail,
doused and lit - glass
just barely intact -
moments from impact.

My thighs
are drought-licked limbs
still
thirsty tinder
left unstoked
will burn to quiet
by sunrise.

When the bottle tips -
I will not sip. I'll settle
like smoke over coals
on the trim shoals
of friendship.

You'll wake
to view good intentions
snoozing beside you.
Her trust, crumpled
and tossed to the floor.

You'll rise
unsteady, blinking and eager
to recrown the blame,
throbbing head, waypoint
to last night's transgression -

while I remain woke
in the bed I made
solo
and always alone
this threadbare integrity
thin consolation.

I will regret everything
you can't remember -
grip this handful of ashes
and sift it for treasure.
I'll wait for the story's spin -
one more revolution.

Just meet me
in the middle,
please -
sometime.