Free Verse Poetry

Coping Mechanisms

BEFORE YOU READ | This poem is composed by Phoenix Wilde, a poet from the United States of America. Her published book entitled ‘Pouring Water Over Stars’ can be purchased by clicking here.

Hands shoved in pockets,
gloves to keep me warm.

I gaze at the nursery inside and try to decide
if I should give into the impulse
to buy an irresponsible amount of wine.

Our apartment is empty tonight and silent
even though the neighbors are having a party,
and I can hear the noise through the walls.

My eyes run circles around the Christmas lights and
if you were here, you’d berate me:
“What the hell are you doing? A bottle
isn’t going to erase the piercing silence.
It’s not going to fill the living room and cover the
rug with the toys we would have gotten the baby.
A bottle isn’t going to keep you warm. It won’t
pull us from the wreckage of metal and
debris, steering wheels and gears, tires
and rims. Broken car seats and tangled belts.”

But it sure does lather shampoo across your caskets
behind my eyelids, of the broken bodies I identified
when the Sheriff gave me the news. Husband and Baby.

Button noses and dimpled chins gone in a split second –
that’s the world we live in; I can’t seem to forget the faces
in the ice-cold prison of the morgue. It’s leaking into every
memory I have of them; it keeps me cold, shivering from
the chill of the winter or the peace-written faces of my baby’s
mother – I’m not sure.

ALSO READ | War With Vices, at Love With Foes

I’ll have to wait until summer to figure out where the chill
is coming from. Until then, I hope the bartenders every night
just keeping hitting me with another.

I’m going to the bar even though I know its closed sign will
be dangling in the front window like a noose around my neck;
I can’t remember the last time I pulled out my phone – it’s not
really something you do when you’re so violently alone – but
I do and I check the maps app for the nearest place I can get
thrashed at.

But the bars are closed and everyone is home with their loved ones –
where I would be had drunk drivers never existed.
But, they do.
And home isn’t home anymore.

ALSO READ | Oscillations of Consciousness

So, I continue marching down the empty streets of an abandoned
city. The liquor store isn’t far and it’s lit bright with red and green
and white lights. I grimace as I walk in and wonder how hard I’d
have to squeeze to pop just a single light; to extinguish just an
ounce of that cheer to match the reality of the world here.

I buy four bottles of hard liquor and some wine
hoping that by the time I get home, I won’t be able to walk
in straight lines. I want to stumble and curse and struggle to
slide my key from my purse. I want to rage against the
door’s lock, so incoherent I feel like it’s a sleepwalk.
The liquor bottles on my arm are an ice storm,
and now gloved hands shoved in pockets
are the only things that keeps me warm.

DO READ | The Happy Prince

Image by Olexy @Ohurtsov from Pixabay

3 replies »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.