Effects of Fetal Alcoholism

by Cailey Calhoun


My mother was drunk
half my childhood.

Most memories were rosy
—she always smelled wine-sweet
she always stumbled over rugs
she always cried when the contestant
didn’t win “Wheel of Fortune”—

And her kisses were sticky,
even though bills piled,
garbage piled in our apartment—
I disregarded it all.

such inconvenience,
she’d tell me.
The real world is trying to soak up
all our fun.

She was saturated,
leaking joy and tears and alcohol
and I was her sponge,
adoring every dripping smile
and tequila-tinted night of ours

never knowing the soggy stains
she left on my tipsy little mind.


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