around the smokey hole

You can still be good
at what you do
without liking
what you do

It’s more common than
you’d imagine

The words reflected his face
in the steamy bathroom mirror

He watched
until he felt cold in his
nakedness
and shivered

reached for the towel
wiped
got out of the bathroom
put on clothes
and returned to his writing
desk

The blank page was ugly

unlike the somewhat encouraging
words on the steamy mirror

He reached into the drawer
pulled out the pen
stuck it into his mouth
clicked it

Reached again into the drawer
pulled out the gun
pointed it at the blank page
fired

He wrote for the remainder of
the day and the next
night around the smokey hole

It was finally
beautiful 


thick glass

three weeks
and the shards were still there
still scattered on the tiles
of the kitchen floor

that was a thick glass
meant for classy strong drinks
like whiskey

Yeah, now that he thought about it
it was whiskey she
ordered. But he filled
the glass with milk and said,
“You know what the doctor said, mother.
No more alcohol for you. Here, try
this instead.”

And he would strongly
prefer not to remember what followed
after

The shards were still
on the kitchen floor

and the gash still on the side of
his neck. Stitched now
but painful nonetheless


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