A Drug with Teeth and a Pulse

You like to quote dead writers when
I ask you about your drinking.
"I do it to make other people more
You're a regular Hemingway.
The lights in your eyes are like the
street lamps on my lane-
they only come on after dark,
when we two are on your roof,
reading aloud sonnets and waiting
to watch the sun peel away husks of the moon.

Your breath always smells like
cigarettes and licorice,
and I don't like it (I don't like licorice),
but it's okay,
because I like you.
And I wonder if you actually like me or if
you just keep me around to listen to you ramble
on about grammar and
constellations and coffee beans.

I don't know what I'd feel if that were the case, but I think
I'd feel like a cartoon
who's lost her will to be animated.

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