To the fist at the bottom of every bottle
Here’s to the fist at the bottom of every bottle. Every bottle smashed on the side of a brown-brick apartment siding. Every fist smashed into the drywall, smearing it with blood. Every fist gripping every woman in Chicago’s neck as she bends backwards onto the hood of a car. The snow is falling softly, in a beautiful silence on every bloody scene. Freeze-frame on this one precious moment and use it as a blindfold for covering up every bloody scene yet to come for two years. Can’t see it? Can’t remember it. The fist roughly pulling closed the denim jacket with a low-cut top on underneath. Too much cleavage. The bottle that smashes against the cement floor of a warehouse party when its fist for that night slumps. And then the body. Slumps just the same, but with a thud. No one notices. The fist plunged into the throat, coming out bloody. A few coughs into the toilet and the party is back on. The fist gripping the ends of strangers’ toothbrushes to get the vomit to come out. It makes it easier, this way. Wipe any residue from the cheek before opening the door. No one notices. And we’re back to the fist plunging into the drywall at the landing on the staircase of the apartment in Wicker Park, number 257. You can still see the dried blood from the last time, though we suspect it will just be painted over for future viewings. And we’re back to the thud and the February wind whistling through the cracked window that skinny girls stand smoking out of in the corner of the party. Still, no one is noticing. These are our prime years, and we’re just getting started. The fist gripping the greasy pizza to shove it whole in the mouth, swallowed in a grand total of two bites. No matter how little money, there’s always some leftover bottle stashed in the freezer for the desperate times. Each one has a rim coated with old lipstick and grime. Each one screams to a different silent crowd with some indie-rock song from 2009 playing in the background. Each one comes with its own fist at the bottom. Each one with a snowy scene, covered up with a memory of that one moment bent over backwards on the hood of a parked car, in a silent drive, on the only good night, from the best years of our lives. If you press your ear to the freezer door like a salty conch shell retrieved from the ocean, you can still hear it screaming – Notice me, notice me, notice me!
Sierra Page is a writer and PhD student from the Midwest and living abroad in Brighton, England. Her poems have been previously published in Unbroken Journal, Blink-ink Magazine, and Eunoia Review. She spends her free time reading Vonnegut and hanging out with her 3-toothed cat, Bluey.