This Is the Story of How I Got Sober Without Naming Names Like a Chump

Cait Weiss

Don’t understand the idea of redemption — waste
of time thinking 'bout that. Waste of time too that night you,
in the Patriots hat, and I sat at the bar, mapped out how I knew life
got me drunk.

You never expected I’d have to get sober.
You circled around me like a dog flattening grass,
plodding his way to lie down.

Lie better, an indictment you’d yet to shout,
your voice yet to squeeze through the hole
in my door. Lie better, lie quiet, lie
low. Sex was the check at the end of an evening —
expected, but hardly split fair.

Damn, we weren’t happy, but we were something all right;
tumbling fresh, “running drunk” — they’d yet to teach me
the lingua recovery at church basement meetings, my hands
yet to stroke those cheap plastic coins. 24 hours comes hard.
But it comes.

Today it’s just seltzer. When we divvy up tabs now, we don’t have to get naked,
and water from wine’s an un-miraclized Christ.
So we weren’t happy, black smoke of tailblaze trailing, but damn
we were something all right: two raging beings on a spiral from heaven,
spewing rank starlight from sky.

L.A.-born and Ohio-educated, Cait Weiss leads writing workshops for at-risk teens, runs a social media company and wrestles (figuratively most days) with revising a novel. Her work has appeared in the L Magazine, Amethyst Arsenic, Metromix, NYWC’s The Narrator, and the twittersphere. She lives in Brooklyn and drinks too much coffee.