On Drunkenness

by Brandon Lewis

It’s come to this, listening out the window
all night as a drunk sweeps
the rain

waiting for something to bloom our bumbling limbs
that cross

a world in which there is no more    ‘ aways ’.

Even our rapture cannot be tossed out.    Waiting and building, slow and unlikely, it corresponds

over the sound-machine’s ocean waves
playing low at night for my mother, untouched by my father
since I was four

and through the bare hallway I don’t step down
as my buddy whispers for me from another dark room.

Between the charcoal
it was too late to wash through my poisoned teenage veins

and the glass of calvados I drink alone before home
to slip star pajamas on the baby.

Tonight my love calls me, bed-warm

ours voices unghosted
our wounds ungauzed

and even here among our nakedness, the question circles

whether to accept the unmusical world descending on us

as rows of horrible metallic green beetles arranged by number and genus, unpinned
or whether to fix a scrim with a smidgen of drunkenness — enough to       briefly feed
a bonfire,

enough to not search endlessly for answers

why my knees ache when it rains.    Why I hold my love
this way.

I only stare.