124 Words On Sobriety (Including a Line by Alice Fulton)
I can testify
the tic of prayer persists in nonbelievers.
Do I hear less,
or has the world grown quiet?
I sleep more, try not to hold my nightmares
(I’ve wet my pants, and the red-toothed
villains of childhood are charging).
My ashtray spills over
with pistachio shells.
I stuff my shirt pocket
with lime blossom and narcissus.
The floor beneath my chest has collapsed
into a cavity below,
rank pit wet with tongues
thick with the smell of spit and iron.
Shadow is best understood as an object
passing before a light:
the single trapped miner,
uses fingers and a match
to project a hawk’s silhouette
along the cave wall.