Mama’s boy

breath held to fend off the
whiskey vomit stench
his small fingers inch the bottle from her
limp grasp
like a deadly game of pick-up sticks

empty jim beam bottlepours the dark liquid down the drain
buries Jim Beam in a
garbage grave

then dashes out leaving
screen door ajar

garage peeling paintporch steps breached
sneaks along the lee side of the
garage
dressed in peeling paint
tears through
old man Smith’s petunia patch
lungs on fire

blackberryreaches his secret place
on the far side of the
blackberry hedge
hits the ground hard
squeezing back tears

her voice
too distant to be heard
still clack clack clacks
in his ears
mean drunk helicopter words
slicing through his brain

the same small fingers
pluck dark berries from their
prickly cocoons
liquid stains his
fingertips
blood or juice
it doesn’t matter

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