Daniel B. Silver

EARLIER


 

You take a pill and go to bed
Then plug the headphones in
Turn on the iPod, and play that goddamn song
The one that won’t leave your head

 Earlier, you pour a shot
And place it on the table, bedside
Sip from one; then the other
In preparation to close your eyes

 Earlier, you shower and brush
Making sure to towel dry
Take a second to scrutinize your face in the mirror
Appears as sane as the day you’ll die

 Earlier, you watch TV
Then answer an email or two
Clean up a bit, and peruse a book
Trying to keep the focus on you

 Earlier, you grab the bag of pills
Stashed so conveniently nearby
Eat few of one, then chase with a gulp

Of a burning, angry rye
 Earlier, you make the first drink
Consisting of whiskey and ice
Gulp it down; then poor another
A few more should suffice

  And if she were here, you’d toast to her
Celebrating her, out of your mind
Letting the slow burn illustrate your dedication
To her warmth, a special kind

 Earlier, you grimaced and sighed
Feeling stuck in the same old rut
Pushing it away, and downplaying the new
Gaping, stinging cut

 Earlier, it turns out that she says
She can no longer keep you near
So later you reach for those pills, and find that bottle
The one true love sincere

 Earlier, you move in for a kiss
But you can see behind her eyes
That her focus is elsewhere, on another man
Or so you quickly surmise

 Earlier you start to think
That you’ll see this partnership through
But in the end, over and over
The last one standing is you