Prolegomena for Any Future Nights Out

Let there be praise for the endurance of the body,

for the muffled cell phone alarms which manage to wake me for work,

for my eyes which follow the charger like a trellised vine

to my phone’s resting place beneath a mysterious mound of vomit.

Let there be praise for Tupperware full of rice and insurance policies.

Let there be praise for roommates who come downstairs at 2 A.M.

for a Whataburger run, high out of their mind, only to find

me corpse-like in the leaf litter of the driveway,

and for me to wave off prodding shoes in vomitous repose 

before drifting back to sleep as they back the car out into the street,

my beard still matted into a hellish scene of sick and leaves.

For these trying times, praise roommates who return, who carry me up stairs.

Praise the smell of their chocolate malts.

Let me accept all forms of adulation: my voice low and pained, moaning

near-death and naked in a tub with my head in my brother’s lap.

Let me wake to discover in the morning, as I self-medicate

with half the menu of Waffle House,

that my debit card absconded into the night.

Let me struggle to google the last bar that I can remember,

who will read my message and not respond.

Let me not be a vessel for anger then,

because bars should not always answer hopes.

Let me spend the nights dancing

around the smoke of my body’s tributes,

let me do all in the spirit of the festival, and, if I survive,

let me love the saintly few who drag me slack into the rising sun

and will stand by me when, prompted to shower and slick with vomit, 

I drop trouse and expose myself, original sin and all.

Will Anderson received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Florida State University. He worked in the timber industry for a time and taught high school English before returning to FSU to pursue his MFA. His work has appeared most recently in Entropy Magazine, The Daily Drunk, and Book XI.

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