“And Then (On Drinking Responsibly)”

It started at 12:05am
Mildly nervous, even nauseous,
the thought of you knowing curls my tongue backwards.

Then it was 1:17am
Courage kicked me hard in the stomach, or was it stupidity?
Still not sure what happened.

Then it was 1:19am
A sound, your words, erased the existence
of the next few hours of my life.

Then it was 11:01am
I said it straight, none of the sugar coating,
heard what I thought. Stuck in the zone.
Then it was 8:30pm
Guys’ night outs are therapeutic, they say.
Bitter-sweet companions later to be culprits.

Then it was 11:50pm
The world’s out,
one more shot, sweeter and sweeter each time,
loudest laugh,
crunchiest curse word,
a numb slap in the face
but big boys don’t cry.

And then it was 6:04am
Déjà vu
spelt with a hangover.

Published by troycabida

Troy Cabida (he/him) is a Filipino poet and producer based in south west London. His recent poems have appeared in TAYO Literary Magazine, harana poetry, MacMillan and bath magg. He is a producer for London open mic night Poetry and Shaah and co-founder of Liwayway Kolektibo, an arts and culture network providing space for UK-based Filipino/a/x creatives. His debut pamphlet, War Dove, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2020. Photo taken by Ray Roberts.

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