We Drink

we drink each Friday night:
we drink to forget the dead end jobs that pay our bills
we drink to laugh, though we sometimes cry
we drink for courage
we drink to slough off this weight we carry
for people who do not have food or water or alcohol
to forget. we forget

for a while. in the morning we joke that we drank too
much and next weekend, we will
do something else. we will
ice skate in winter or swim in the summer (though
we sometimes swim drunk)

my friends, drinking is not the ailment, it is not the cure.
it is a medical drip on dying youth.

the urge to drink will pass with my convictions and thoughts
about those I cannot see or hear, but know are suffering.
I raise my glass to you, my friends, because we drink
for all the right reasons with all the wrong results:
headaches and nausea and inactivity

we drink each Friday night. we drink to quench
a thirst for justice that will never exist.
we drink because it feels good and naughty
we drink because it feels impetuous and free,
teenagers in a first car, college kids at a rave,
not near thirty-somethings disenfranchised with the life
they were born into.
we drink each Friday and I start
missing it on Monday.


First published in Nervehouse, 2004.

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