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In Vino Veritas

I designated a driver: myself
because I wanted to arrive alive
with a family of work-relations
who wanted to continue the wake
for our co-worker who’s still
sending out auto-replies.

She being dead still speaks,
to paraphrase scripture,
but the only contact with
a higher power coming after
the secular chaplain finished
reading poems and mispronouncing
her name happened

When I descended into a dance bar
with my friends, sober as a frog
but still pummeled about the brain-stem
by bass frequencies that rattled my breastbone,
I wondered who needs to drink in a place like this?

I wondered this again when I found
myself on a dance floor, one woman
strobing in and out of existence
and later, another who doesn’t know
how to talk to me when she’s sober
holding on to me and talking in circles
about contracts.

I have trouble talking to them when
we’re all sober sometimes. I feel
too earnest by half, the guy who
deals in facts when everyone else
is in a dream. In wine there is truth,
and they cling to me like a raft.

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