Halfway To Hell

You listen to the voice over the phone--
vodka and store-brand nachos
scratching at your chest as you breathe.
An old woman preaches Jesus,
a drunken mistake that enthralls.
A vomit cough catches you
clearing more than your throat--
the toilet calling you
from the back of the house
like itís your mama
back from the morgue.

Then, like life,
an incoming call
lets loose a trickle,
the sharp tone
slicing a headache wedge
into the dull buzz
crackling your skull.

You know itís him.

Heís probably been drinking and thinking
and dialing wrong numbers, too.
You pick up the bottle
of ass-crack Virginia vodka.

Yeah, heíll just screw you
for a couple of minutes,
leave you sticky and sweaty
and shucking your guts
onto the bathroom linoleum.

You take an alley-cat swig.
Let it sit inside your mouth
a moment before swallowing
like a hundred times before.

Yeah, heís probably calling
to get his vinyl back,
that old hi-fi you hid
the last time he left.
Caught yourself listening to
the same 33, Wishbone Ash
and the Phoenix rising smooth.

You switch over and hear
his excuses through broken breaths.
Yeah, you switch over because
you think thereís still a sip
left in that tank.
You switch over
because you are drunk
and because you hate yourself.

Mr. Huskey writes poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in a few journals, including Keyhole Magazine, Thieves Jargon, Word Riot, and Zygote In My Coffee. Links to his work can be found at http://jasonlhuskey.wordpress.com. He lives in Virginia.

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