The Liquor Machine

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."

-Bat Country, Avenged Sevenfold

There is a window nestled

between her ribs, first peek in blurry,

second revealing the red silhouette of a man.

He has beer bottle fists and chimney sweep lungs:

a short term machine.

The liver is an engine, pump-pumping, while

his smokestack trachea billows expletives

untruths, and sometimes half-digested food.

He has a one-track assembly line mind, a

linear thought process:

me, me, me.

Much like a baby he nurses from a bottle,

sleeps at odd hours,

and cannot master complete use of the toilet.

When he vomits, though, there is no one to pat his back.

There are sepia flickers like a vintage projector

shivering like butterfly wings on the pinks of her eyelids

Countdown…three-two-one:

He comes home one night, one of the few,

and she crawls up to him like

a pink mouse -eyes still shut-

rooting around for its mother

in the coils of a snake.

The next morning she wakes up

with vomit tangled in her hair like tinsel,

her small body still snuggled against his booze-hot skin:

Fin. Projector coughs, curtains close.

She remembers how he always left

his pants in the hallway,

the breadcrumbs to his German child of folklore.

They always preceded his body by a few feet;

sometimes one pant leg still looped

around a shoe-less foot. In the pockets

of his discarded jeans jingled coins,

which were like lost treasure to her,

unknowing of her father's trade:

Jackson, Hamilton, and Lincoln

for Jim, Jack, and Jose.