Sobriety Tomorrow

By Eli Sahm

I can’t wait to smile hummus

organic, ooze carrot-like composure

and be OK with time. I’ll sketch

pictures of my future kids, intuit

places to find quality cider vinegar

and be excited about it. Instead of jumping

into a wood chipper, I’ll use holidays to relax

as a goal. I’ll quit waiting to love myself

and research local politicians. I’ll rescue

a dog and take an active interest in his teeth.

He’ll have a rich interior life

which I’ll engage with after work

and work will be good or bad

in a manageable way. I’ll think about

stoplights when sitting at stoplights.

The economy, I’ll think and not

run over anyone.

I’ll learn the real dos and don’ts of water

and won’t hear anything when I laugh

through the weatherman’s edginess.

I’ll floss behind the back molars

after I grind them out in my dreams

and spit jokes about too much caffeine

down the daily sink after taking the trash out

gratefully in the rain. When I talk to strangers

I’ll talk to strangers instead of myself.

I’ll rub the suggested creams into my scars

once they’re finally done forming and talk

my way out of unemployment. I won’t rifle

through garbage too much anymore

after tomorrow

my mistakes will fit into a pack of smokes

which I’ll confiscate from the neighbor boy

in exchange for a free moral story

about driving face first into a forest.

He’ll remove his reading glasses

and give me a handkerchief

which won’t hold enough food even  

for people who eat too often, those people

who lose it like I’m trying to steal their life

when I run hunching in to kiss their dog

from fifty yards away

to turn my day around

by feeling loved for not being

what’s jerking the leash.

Eli Sahm received his MFA in Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2016. He believes in hard work and maintaining an exhaustive political presence online. His poetry is free.