124 Words On Sobriety (Including a Line by Alice Fulton)

                 I can testify
                 the tic of prayer persists in nonbelievers.

I.

Do I hear less, 
or has the world grown quiet?

I sleep more, try not to hold my nightmares
against anyone

(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. 


II. 

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, 
unafraid, 

uses fingers and a match
to project a hawk’s silhouette 

along the cave wall.