The process of drinking
is like liturgy. The absinthe: 90% alcohol,
the rest, a whisper within the liquid,
‘get drunk’. Whenever the church
overflows with folks recently churned
out of the city-belly, you sit by the candlelit bar
drinking dirty booze. You confess
your sins to the bartender and the rumbling
drunk. The alcohol courses down your throat
like fire, like the fresh odour of the dust
that painted your palms grey after you caressed
the statue of a saint as a child.
Religion is the opiate of the masses,
your intellectual friends would quote
to you back when you knew of your parents’
lies but followed them blindly. Your friends
were worried that your eloquence
might become wasted potential. Now, you
follow your own lies as if they were some
uncontrollable part of your self, something
quite distinct like a reflection in the dark,
or a shadow stitched by raindrops trails
across windows sheathed
Holy water and absinthe mingle in you like wisdom.
The candlelight reveals your young face
like a map, etched with a lifetime of wrinkles,
deepening in your smiles and frowns.
Your face swallows your past dusted
with regret. You examine the outside
world through the bar: darkness.
The view reminds you of the hint
of the blue sky and the sun behind the church
stained windows. The candlewax recedes,
counting your time.