I stopped drinking on my way down the hill to the liquor store when two guys pulled up and tried to drag me into their pickup. I crossed the street then ran in the opposite direction, puffing against the incline. The stranger thrust into reverse and, when I wouldn't talk to him, threw a bag of McDonald’s trash at me, Stuck up bitch. I stopped drinking when I realized I was fighting for the vodka at the bottom of the hill more than I was fighting against the terrible things that could have happened to me inside the cab of that rusty Chevy. I stopped drinking before cell phones. I stopped drinking after Days of Wine and Roses. I stopped drinking even as I kept walking to El Prado Spirits and the guy behind the counter who recognized me asked if I was alright. I didn't tell him what had happened because he might have called the police and then I would have had to wait for them to arrive to fill out a report, delaying my Smirnoff. I stopped drinking even before I had that last sip, as I ran back up the hill squeezing a bottle by its neck.
Copyright © 2011 by Denise Duhamel. Used with permission of the author.
Born in 1961, Denise Duhamel is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry, including Blowout (University of Pittsburgh, 2013).
Date Published: 2011-07-19
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/bottom