This is a verse I've been working on for several years, have published it twice for perhaps an hour and then deleted it out of shame for the man I used to be and the destruction I caused. But I got to thinking - I'm no longer that man, no longer slave to the compulsions that drove me then, and this is something I have to get out of me. Please accept it for that purpose.
Through the muddle of far too much vodka
I remember seeing Natchez's gleaming lights
across the tumultuous Mississippi River,
the multicolored bulbs along the docks,
neon extolling catfish and fried pickles,
and I recall the sun biting into the horizon
and odd pairs of lights following each other
hurriedly on the bridge that always scared
the crap out of me whenever I had to cross it.
I remember the dissonant hum of cicadas
clinging to cypress trees and the sultry
heat that followed an infrequent rainstorm.
I also recall how she turned so sadly
and walked out of my life forever, taking with
her all I had known of recent life but alcohol.
At the time I couldn't retrieve what I had just
lost; I was too far gone into my alcoholic
addiction to realize how our lives, including
our children, had just changed so dramatically,
and how they now would only be mine sporadically.
However, with the passage of all these years
I no longer wish for the life I once had, especially
that terrible compulsion toward self-destruction
which brought us to the divergence of our lives.
I no longer live along the river, no longer
hear the tugs as they ply the churning currents,
and strangely, I no longer remember her face.