Sometimes at night, alone in the kitchen, I practice tracing my steps
to the wine cellar, only to turn around
as soon as I catch the slightest hint of vodka.
Alcoholics call this recovery.
I call it learning how to unlove.
Not a day goes by where I don’t set a match to the edge of my bed
until smoke begins to curl up toward the ceiling like a ghost,
long enough for the smell of flames
to drown out the feeling of drinking to forget.
Years ago, a homeless man once read my palm lines and predicted
that one day someone would touch me
with the same certainty geese fly south in the fall.
What he couldn’t predict is that you would touch me
until my feathers ended up in a pile on the floorboards
and my sense of direction was nowhere to be found.
Sometimes at night, alone in the kitchen, I remember the first time we kissed
and how I’ve never felt completely sober since.