Love Poem From Vodka
Your lips on my mouth, your hands
on my glassy skin. I craved your touch
as much as you craved my taste, clear
and cold down your gullet. I never
abandoned you – when someone
whispered rehab, you asked your daddy
but he wanted fame as much as you
so we kept slow dancing, your platform
shoes tripping us as we stumbled onto
that stage in Belgrade. We were booed
off but I comforted you. When Blake
split I was there to blur your broken
heart. And that last weekend – I rivered
down your throat, your hand still wrapped
about my long neck in a forever embrace
when you closed your eyes for the last time.
When I Quit Drinking in My 40s I Remember the Boyfriend Who Gave Me a Bottle of Champagne on my 21st Birthday
He asked a coworker what to get me and she said
flowers. Instead he bought the cheapest bottle
of champagne. While I would one day love
the effervescent drink, at 21, I didn’t yet enjoy
the bubbles singing down my throat – I wanted
watery beer and fruity, florescent shots. He downed
most of the bottle in the backseat, handing it back
and forth with a friend. When we got to the bar
I proudly handed over my ID, proclaimed, It’s my
birthday! That night I danced with everyone
but my boyfriend. My best friend and I whirled
around the dancefloor, limbs loose and free.
In a week I would learn he’d fucked someone
else just hours before purchasing that bottle
of brut, but that night I celebrated this wobbly
step toward adulthood with him by my side, or at least
standing on the sidelines, chugging a beer.
Amy’s Bedroom Talks
The fights I’ve seen, the fucking. Both loud,
sometimes violent. Oh she loved him, but
like that song says, he loves blow and I love puff.
Honey, drugs don’t make for gentle love
or soft words. She’s messy – platform heels
peeking out from under the bed, bras hanging
on doorknobs, sheets gritty from weeks between
washing. And that day – the glass bottles fell
empty from her hand, one nestled beside her
on the pillow, watching her take her last breath,
knowing she loved it best.
A Quarantine Cocktail
Fill a glass with ice – if you have those fancy cubes, use those. If not, fuck it, no one is going
to see it.
Remember you’re isolated with only your partner and dog for company. No partner or dog? Then you’re really isolated. Take off your bra, your pants – no one is there to judge you and if there were someone there who judged you: time to find a new partner.
Find your liquor of choice: gin, rum, tequila, vodka
Pull out the pomegranate juice from the back of your fridge, the juice you bought at the start of the pandemic – it claims a multitude of health benefits. Because with a pandemic, you might need whatever healthy goodness this juice can provide.
Pour the liquor into the glass, cover the ice with the clear liquid. Add a bit of the violet juice, for a dash of color.
Down the drink fast, in one gulp if you can. Make a second drink, adjusting as you prefer. Sip this cocktail, watch the ice melt slowly, luxuriate on the tart taste, the subtle bite of gin/tequila/rum/vodka.
Drink till the day has faded to night, till the black of the sky matches your mood.
Remember the liquor store is considered essential and is still open.
Remember this can’t last forever.
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the full length collections Exquisite Bloody, Beating Heart (Riot in Your Throat) and Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press). She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Riot in Your Throat, an independent poetry press. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Read her publications on her blog: www.wordperv.com. Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.