Hypocrisy, KY

my lowest point
was when i realized
the wild turkey bottle in my hand
wasn’t just a prop on the stage
it was how i didn’t die that day
it was how i almost did

it was that time i had never been more drunk
for a poetry gig
than as a visiting speaker
at my university alma mater
slurring on the lecture room floor
of an admired mentor and professor

haunted by
the sadness in his eyes
as the class watched rapt
thinking me revolutionary
more queasy
less kesey
him realizing it was more
than dean martin affectation

it was ended relationships
via impulsive social chat

it was attacking my adored Lidia
my literary altar statue
smashing her online for being happy
for having a loving husband
for being brilliant
for having that next baby
the recognition
i never quite could

you’ll wear an apology as a gravestone
when your
father was a suicidal
sunday school teacher
with a bootlegger’s ethics
& a crooked grin
the man was
a goddamned
burning road map

tho you sure as hell better learn
to call yourself
on your own horseshit
to stay alive

when your sugar tit
Hypocrisy, Kentucky

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