Comes a Moment – Alec Solomita

Alec Solomita

Comes a moment in every drunk’s life,
as he looks over yestereve’s stumbling sins,
that he says to the oval portrait of his
dear dead da on the mantle above the
fake fireplace in the flat he can’t afford,
“That’s it. I quit. No more.”
Each bleak morning the moment
burns like a break in a bed of dark clouds
then slowly dims as the wobbling day worries
toward night. And in the near of the darkling eve,
the moment continues to flicker until
the first shot of whiskey (this time
at three instead of five) and suffers
the premature burial it longs for.
At five, when the postman rat-a-tat-tats,
the stumbler sidles out to his front porch
to collect his bills and summonses
and spies in his neighbor’s black mailbox
the brown envelope and happy green
check from the US of A. Without even
a glance around, he makes a tipsy grab,
slips back fast into his drear apartment,
and celebrates his crime with a
thousand drinks, then sleeps like a
felonious baby, touching with his
fingertips every so often, his ticket
to solvency…or prison: the purloined
letter resting uneasily under his dismal pillow.

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