Hard liquor

I thought I could take it down like a man
a grimace at the end and an exhale of appreciation
groomed on wine spritzers, after
being schooled on middle-aged men
at twenty-two, you

were a new cocktail, mixed up
shaken, stirred, and muddled
too many bitters for all the girls to go for you
with an undercurrent of loss and hope
I drank you too quickly, we

left in a stupor, stumbling
through years before once more
dusting off the bottle, the cork
breaking off in pieces until we shoved it in hard
to get at the elixir that would bring us back

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