What goes on in the space between drinks

sometimes seems inevitable like
a serfdom. A genetic IOU
passed from
father to son.
As dour as that sounds
and frightening
as that is.

I remember seeing my great aunt before she died.
She drank.
My mother's mother's sister. I think.

She shuffled out in clothes
that obviously fit
at one point in time with eyes
yellow as a cat's.
Yellow as the pregnant full moon
when it's low on the horizon. Right after the sun's gone down.
And right before it comes up.

And when we talked, she seemed
like she knew what
she wanted to say, but couldn't find the words.
So she let her jaundiced skin like old,
brittle, newspaper from the 30's,
And those eyes do all the talking for her.
They seemed to shrug and say:

"This is what it is, kid."

I think of those eyes
when I stare into my glass of bourbon
and I always seem to hesitate when the bartender asks
if I'd like another one.

Cody Badaracca grew up in North Routt County, Colorado, near the town of Clark. He has a B.A. in journalism and is the publisher and owner for Voices Of [the] Goat Publishing, which exists largely in his mind and on his laptop. He's been published in My Favorite Bullet.

He sometimes dreams about living in the desert of New Mexico or the bayou of Louisiana. If for no other reason, the variety of reptiles and the mild winters.

2004-2010 Underground Voices