Photo by Wallace Chuck on

The wine is becoming rancid in the bottle, as if my restraint is toxic
My mother drinks three bottles a night
between her and my father
My father can drink two glasses if he has work the next day
Two glasses and a gin if he does not,
And then when my mother has gone to bed, the vino helping her to drift,
The dark spirits come out
Like ghosts roaming the halls in pitch,
Seeing only what is left behind
An empty glass,
A television, volume set on low
Slurred speech
My mother cries, telling me she can’t do this anymore
My brother’s knuckles’ still bleeding
Another bottle of cheap vodka I pour down the sink
I will not drink, I will not drink
Next week I am at the bar buying shots for the blurry faces around me
I cry at 2am sitting on my front step,
no keys, no phone, no one answering the door
I will not drink, I will not drink
Ginger beer masks the taste,
I would hardly notice it if not for the way I can meet the boys eye
Fire in my veins I become the phoenix
But in the morning I am the ashes,
Left to make apologies for the night before
Each time I remember, feeling the growing kinship between my mother and
I place the cap on the bottle.
I put it away.
I let the liquid grow old, turn the vinegar
Thinking of the acid on her tongue


About the Author:

Caitlin Mckenna is a student from Leeds, currently embarking on her creative writing masters. A queer, socialist, vegan, when she’s not writing she’s sending time with her cats and getting her heart broken.


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