Body & Kentucky Bourbon
In the dark, my mind’s night, I go back to your work-calloused hands, your body and the memory of fields I no longer see. Cheek wad of chew tobacco, Skoal-tin ring in the back pocket of threadbare jeans, knees worn through entirely. How to name you: farmhand, Kentucky boy, lover. The one who taught me to bear the back-throat burn of bourbon. Straight, no chaser, a joke in our bed, but I stopped laughing; all those empty bottles, kitchen counters covered with beer cans and broken glasses. To realize you drank so you could face me the morning after, the only way to choke down rage at the body sleeping beside you. What did I know of your father’s backhand or the pine casket he threatened to put you in? Only now, miles and years away, do I wince at the jokes: white trash, farmer’s tan, good ole boy. And now, alone, I see your face at the bottom of my shot glass before my own comes through.