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Why I Don’t Drink


by P.R. Mercado


He ordered some strange drink
and had to explain to the waitress
how it was made.

He had that kind of connection
with his cocktails, intimate
sort of like a boy and his dog.

Cocktails have in any case
saved him from the bottom
of many dark wells.

He said over the sound of the band:
“There comes a time 
when men must learn how to drink.”

I said: “I know how to drink.
You slide the fluid down your throat
and you're good.

If you mean alcohol, I've done it
but some people would drink coolant
if they could.”

He said: “Learning how to drink
means learning how to enjoy it. 
I bet you're so fun when you're drunk.”

What, really, would I do when drunk?
Call many boys to tell them
I have always loved them, probably.

Masturbate in the car
during a traffic jam
with open windows. 

Tell my father
has has wronged me,
has messed me up forever. 

Drive far away from the city
and hope I wake up in a rice field
without any idea how to get back. 

I'll stick to soda, water, and juice. 
They have served me well. 
I am not keen on getting new masters,

do not intend to summon
that which I keep wrapped tightly
within the margins of my skin. 
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