A person isn't meant to fit in a bottle.
Why, even simple messages get soggy there.
The ink runs, erased as if it was never written.
The paper dries crumpled and misshapen,
more brittle than before.
You wouldn't understand.
She waits for the next hand.
Take a swig, spit it out,
and pass it on.
Roll it on the dirty ground
until the contents tumble in confusion and nausea
and vomit into the gutter.
Unscroll her, sticky with beer.
Take her home.
Lose her in translation.
Misunderstand, she loves that.
You could never do that.
This little boyfriend went to college,
This little boyfriend stayed home.
And whatever is she to do?
Float between two shores,
roll between four legs of land?
Panic, of course.
Go, wee, wee, wee,
snorting drunken mirth all the way home.
Crawl, of course, into the dark tunnel
of singing glass,
that silence that laughs raucously
with forgetting and undemanding sympathy.
She'll fall down that seductive shaft,
safe there from your disapproval.
Say all you'd like—
It will be but earless echoes,
a hollow blowing on the top
of an empty beer bottle
with a broken neck.
Wordless messages for no one.
You're worth more than that.
She can't hear you.
It's your fault.
You couldn't give her what she needed.
You couldn't drink her down,
like the rest, without choking,
until she danced, intoxicated,
in that luminescent corner of your mind.
You could never hand her the notes,
like stars plucked from the sky,
as she grasped for them,
drowning up to her chin in doubt and need.
She could never reach.
She still falls.
The amber walls close in.
She presses her face against the glass,
fogging a tiny window
like an S.O.S.
with her acrid breath.
Her mouth smudges with bottled, stillborn words.
They could have been poetry.
Her features dry distorted.
They could have been beautiful.
You wouldn't recognize her.
"I'm wasted," she says.
Yes you are.