Thirst by Paul Ilechko


And you find that the thirst
of alcohol is more powerful
than the thirst of salt.
The thirst for relaxation,
the thirst for inspiration,
the thirst for confidence:
all these, yes, and beyond
them the interaction
of blood and chemistry: the taste
of metal, of a dagger
at the throat; the scent of orange
blossom on a cloudy day
when the rain appears gray
and crooked in the distance,
and suddenly it’s running
down your neck, soaking
through your too thin jacket,
and you feel
the thickening of your voice,
hear the hoarseness
of the laughter in the room.
And alcohol takes you
by the hand and asks you,
so politely, to dance.

by Paul Ilechko

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Editor’s Note: This poem is what addiction feels like.


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