Things To Do On Alchol (Quinn Forlini)

Start alone, taking wine in tiny sips. 

Notice tinges now: a soft flush 

deep in your hollowed 

insides, a rush in your warm ears. 

Dance ballet on the carpet. 

Let go of your voice.  

Visit the guy down the hall. You don’t

really like him, but after you finish 

each glass he asks, Another? 

Sashay to the bathroom sink at two a.m. 

Stream the faucet loud. You are fertile 

soil. Irrigate. Stretch your mouth 

as wide as your face can hold.

Let the boy you think you love  

pour you a red solo cupful 

of Fruit Loops vodka at a house party. 

Lean closer. Speak in secret tones. 

Recognize all time as one block 

of dark matter. 

Take eight double shots of tequila 

with the boy you might definitely

love now. Let him hold you 

upright as you walk back  

from a poetry reading, where 

you fell backward in your chair

and stared at the ceiling 

to catch a metaphor skimming by. 

Relate a forty-five minute epic  

about the dynasty of your tank

of childhood carnival goldfish 

in a flawless New Jersey accent. 

Run across the road when cars 

are coming. Lean over the balcony

at the jazz concert, waving 

to the tiny musicians. 

On a Monday night, sneak into 

your boy’s closet because he leaves 

his door unlocked. Find his Juarez Gold. 

You want a shot? It’s for my birthday, 

some guy you’ve never met offers. 

Your boy gives you a look. He knows

you’re already gone, watched you 

drink a whole glass of wine 

like you couldn’t get it down 

fast enough. Shout, It’s for his birthday! 

throwing your hands in the air. 

Require birthday guy to walk you 

home. The concrete path and dimly lit 

hallway, all an abyss. Holding a key 

beside a doorknob faintly evokes 

some connection between

two objects. Green slips of paper 

fall from your wallet. Laugh, hand 

the key to the guy. He takes care 

of getting you inside. You think:  

we’re apples, as you’re chewed  

to your core, seeds swallowed.

Throw up bile all day. 

Promise a friend you’re done. 

She takes you seriously, will 

help. Regret your promise. 

Last three weeks, counting 

the days. On a Wednesday night

drink again, chardonnay 

from a box. It’s like your religion 

came back: you are one

with the Dao. Whisper, I missed

you. I missed you putting me

to bed like my mother. I’m 

sorry for neglecting you. 

She says, It’s okay.   

Have another. 


Favorite drink is Campari and soda with a slice of orange. 

Quinn Forlini (she/her) has writing published or forthcoming in Catapult, X-R-A-Y, Longleaf Review, Jellyfish Review, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from the University of Virginia and lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find her on Twitter @quinnforlini. 


image: Paul Ruta • • @paulruta